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By bequest 

William Litkens Shoemaker 














Hoc PbilosophidS genus in affectibus situtn est, verius quant in sylla*. 
gismis ; vita est magis, qudm disputatio; Afflatus poiius quatn 
eruditio; traiisfortnatio magis, quam ratio, Erasmus, 

Tantum esto docilis et multum in hdc Philosophia promovisti. Ipsa 
suppeditat Doctorein Spiritutrit qui nulli sese lubentius impertit, 
quam simplicibus animis. At rursiim ita non deest injimis, ut 
summis etiam sit admirabilis. ^id autem aliud est Christi 
Philosophia, quam ipse Renascentiam vocat, quam instauratio 
hente condiie naturce. Ibid. 

nNEYMA Z£:20nOIOYN, ' IGoR.xv. 45. 







"W. L. SlaoeniakeT 
1 8 'vo 


As every attempt to illustrate and 
recommend opinions on Religion, which 
oppose prejudices, is peculiarly obnoxious to 
the misconceptions of the ignorant, the mis- 
representation of the malevolent, and the rash 
censure of the thoughtless ; (who rudely and 
hastily condemn, what they scarcely allow 
themselves even time to understand;) I think 
it proper to entreat all who honour this book 
With any degree of their attention, duly to 
consider the autkorities, human as well 
as scriptural, on which it is founded; and 
not to reject doctrines in which their own 
happiness is most deeply concerned, till they 
shall have invalidated those authorities^ and 
proved themselves superior in sagacity, learn- 
ing, and piety, to the great men whose sen- 
timents I have cited in support of my own. 
Let the firm phalanx of surrounding authori- 
ties be first fairly routed, before the oppo- 
nents level their arrows, even bitter words, 
at him who, in these papers, ventures to en- 


force a doctrine, unfashionable indeed, but 
certainly the doctrine of the Gospel. 

There is no doubt but that my subject is 
the most momentous which can fall under 
the contemplation of a human being ; and I 
therefore claim for it, as the happiness of 
mankind is at stake, a dispassionate and un- 
prejudiced attention. 

The moral world, as well as the political, 
appears at present, to be greatly out of orden 
Moral confusion, indeed, naturally produces 
political. Let all who love their species, or 
their country, calmly consider whether the 
neglect or rejextion of Christianity msiy not 
be the real cause of both : and let those who 
are thus persuaded, co-operate with every at- 
tempt to revive aud diffuse the true Spirit 
OF THE Gospel. "Let us meekly instruct 
" those that OPPOSE themselves,^'^ (if God, 
peradventure, wiWgive them repentance to the 
acknowledging of the truth ^ '^ not being over- 
*' come of evil, but overcoming evil with 
^' good.''! 

Nor let a private clergyman, however in- 
considerable, be thought to step out of his 
province, in thus endeavouring to tranquil- 
lize the tumult of the world, by calling the 

* 2 Tim. \\. 25. t Romans, xii. 21. 


attention of erring and wretched mortals to 
the gospel of peace, lie is jusnfied, not only 
by the general principles of humanity, but 
by the particular command of the religion 
of which he is a minister. Thus saith the 

" Feed the flock of God, as much as lieth 
<' in you, taking the oversight thereof, not by 
" co7istraint^ but willingness ; not for filthy 
" LUCRE, but of a ready mind.^ Take heed 
'' to all the flock, over the which the Holy 
^' Ghost hath made you overseers^ to feed 
" the Church of God, which he hath purcha- 
*^ sed with his own blood /'f 

This I have humbly attempted ; and, in 
imitation of a most excellent prelate,J I have 
adapted my book to all; yet various pans of 
it more particularly to various descriptions of 
men; some to the great, some to the learned, 
but the greater part to \\\t people: remember- 
ing the Apostle's example, who says, '^ To 
" the weak became I as weak, that I might 
*' gain the weak: I am made all things to all 
^' men, that I might by all means save some; 
" and this I do for the Gospel's sake, that 
" I might be a partaker thereof with you.''j| 

* 1 Pet. V. 2. t Acts, XX. 28. 

:j: Bishop Saimderson, who preached in an appropriate manner, 
ad aulam, ad cleruniy ad populum. See the titles of his Sermons. 
H 1 Cor. xi. 23. 

A 2 


And now, readers, before you proceed any 
farther, let me be permitted to say to you, 
*' The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and 
*' the love of God, and the fellowship of the 
*' Holy Ghost, be with you,'* in your pro- 
gress through this book, and also through 
life, even to its close. 




I. Intrqductory. .... Page 13 

II. On the Sort of evidence chiefly recommended and at- 

tempted to be displayed in this Treatise. - 24 

III. On the Prejudices entertained against this Sort of evi- 

dence, and against all divine and supernatural Influ- 
ence on the Mind of Man. - - - 28 

IV. The proper evidence of the Christian Religion is the 

Illumination of the Holy Ghost, ghining into the Hearts 
of those who do not close them against its entrance. 
The opinion of Dr. Gloucester Ridle>y cited. - 33 

V. The true and only convincing evidence of the Religion 

of Christ, or the Illumination of the Holy Ghost is 
offered to all. - - - -. 36 

VI. Opinions of Bishop Taylor respecting the evidence of 

the Holy Spirit; *' shewing" (as he expresses it) how 
** the Scholars of the University shall become most 
*' LEARNED and most useful." - - 40 

VII. Passages from the celebrated Mr. yohn Smithy Fellow 
of Queen's College, Cambridge, corroborative of the 
Opinion that the best evidence of the Christian Reli- 
gion arises from the energy of the Holy Spirit. 48 

VIII. Dr. lsa<ic Marroi^'s Opinion of the evidence of Chris- 
tianity, afforded by the illuminating Operation of the 
Holy Spirit"; and on the Hojy Spirit in general. 51 

3X. Bishop BiiWs Opinion on the evidence of the Spirit of 
God on the Mind of Man, and its Union with it ; the 
Loss of that Spirit by Adam^s Fall,^ and the Recove- 
ry of it by Christ. .... 5;^ 

X' The Opinions of Bishop Pearson and Doctor Scott, Author 
of the Christian Life, and an Advocate for natural 
Religion, against spiritual Pretensions- 62 


Sectiok Page 

XI. Opinion of Bishop Saunderson 6n the Impossibility of be- 

coming a Christian withoui supernatural Assistance. 64 

XII. Bishop Smalridge on the absolute Necessity of Grace. C^ 

XIII. Human Learning highly useful, and to be pursued 
with all Diligence, but cannot, of itself, furnish evi- 
dences of Christianity completely satisfactory, like 
those which the heart of the good Christian feels from 
di'uine Lifluence: with the opinion of Doctor Isaac 
Watts. - - - : . 73 

XIV. The Opinion of Doctor Lucas, the celebrated Author 
of a Treatise on Happiness, concerning the evidence 

of Christianity arising from divine Communicatioji. 81 

XV. Passages from a well-known Book of an anonymous 
Author, intitled, Ininard Testimony. - - 86 

XVI. Dr. Townson^s Opinions on the evidence which is in 
this Book recommended as superior to all others. 87 

XVII. Dr. Doddi'idge on the Doctrine of Divine Influence. 90 

XVIII. The Opinions of Mr. Locke and Mr. Addison. 9J 
XIX The Opinion of Soame Jenyns on the fundamental 

Principles of Christianity. - - . Qf 

XX. The Opinion of Bishop Horsley on the prevalent Ne- 
glect of teaching the peculiar Doctrines of Christi- 
anity, under the Idea that Moral Duties constitute the 
Whole or the better Part of it. Among the peculiar 
Doctrines is evidently included that of Grace, which 
the Methodists inculcate, (as the Bishop intimates,) 

not erroneously. . - - - Qg 

XXI. The Church of England teaches the true Doctrine oif 
Grace. - - - - - 104 

XXII. On the Means of obtaining the Evidence of Christi- 
anity, afforded by the Holy Spirit. - - 108 

XXIII. Temperance necessary to the Reception and Conti- 
nuance of the Holy Spirit in the Heart, and conse- 
quently to the Evidence of Christianity afforded by 
Divine Illumination. - - - 111 

XXIV. On improving Afflictions duly as a Means of 
Grace and Belief in the Gospel. - - 114 

XXV. On Devotion — a Means, as well as an effect of 
Grace: — no sincere Religion can subsist without it. 115 

XXVI. On Divine Attraction. - - - lia 

coN'fE'srs. ix 

Section l*2,gc 

XXVII. On the Difficulties of the Scripture. - - 121 

XXVIII. The Omnipresence of God a DcK:trine univer- 
sally eJlowed ; but how is God every where present but 

by his Spirit, which is the Holy Ghost. - 12S 

XXIX. the "Want of Faith could not be criminal, if it de- 
pended only on the Understanding; but Faith is a 
Virtue^ because it originates from virtuous Disposi- 
tions favoured by the Holy Spirit. - 127 

XXX. Of the scriptural Word " Ukction ;" its high mys- 
terious Meaing. - - - 129 

XXXI. On what is called by devout Persons Experience in 
Religion. - - - - 131 

XXXII. On the Seasons of Grace. • - 135 

XXXIII. Of mistaking the effects of imagination for the 
Seasons of Grace. - . - 137 

XXXIV. Of seasons of Desertion, or supposed Absence of 
the Spirit. - - - - 1S9 

XXXV. Of the Doctrine, that the Operations of the Hcly 
Spirit are neveh distinguishable from the Operations 

of our own Minds. - - - - 141 

XXXVI. Of devotional Feelings or Sentiments. 144 

XXXVII. Of Enthusiasm. - - - U7 

XXXVIII. Cautions concerning Enthusiasm. - 151 

XXXIX. Of being RIGHTEOUS over-much. - 154 
XL. All extravagant and selfish Pretensions to the Spirit to 

be anxiously avoided, as they proceed from and cherish 
Pride, and are frequently accompanied wiih Immorality. 159 

XL I. Affected Sanctity, Demureness, Canting, Sourness, 
Censoriousness, ignorant and illiterate Preaching, no 
Marks of a State of Grace, but contribute to bring 
the whole Doctrine pf Divine Energy into Contempt, 
and to diffuse infidelity. - - - 163 

XLII. Bishop Lavirigtoji'' s 0^imor\y respecting the extrava- 
gancies and follies of fanatical Preachers, and pre- 
tenders to the Spirit. - . , . 165 

XL II I. Pride the great Obstacle to the general Reception of 

the Gospel of Grace. - - , . 168 

XL IV. The universal Prevalence of the Holy Spirit — the 
genuine Grace of the Gospel — highly conducive to the 
happiness of cm/ Society ^ as well as of individuals. 171 


Section Page 

X'LV. Of Holiness — its true Meaning, and absolute Neces- 

sity. ..-.-- 174 

XLVI. Of a good Heart. .... 177 

XL VII. On the superiorMorality of the Christian Philosopbr. 181 

XLVIII. The true Genius and Spirit of Christianity produc- 
tive of a certain Tenderness of Conscience , or feiellng of 
Reciitude, more favourable to right conduct, than any 
deducticns of unassisted Reason, or heathen marality. 183 

XLIX. The great Advantage of Christian Philosophy being 

taught by a commanding Authority. - 186 

L. Morality or orbedieiKe to the Commandments - of - Gcd 
in social intercourse and personal conduct, remarkably 
insisted upon in the Gospel. - - 191 

LI. Unbelievers not to be addressed merely with subtle Rea- 
soning, which they always oppose in its own way, not 
10 be ridiculed, not to be treated with severity, but to 
be tenderly and affectionately exhcrted to prepare 
their hearts for the reception of the imnard ^witness, 
and to relume the hgbt of' UJe^ vvhich they have ex- 
tinguished, or rendered faint, tlirough pride, vice, or 
total neglect. - „ . . 193 

LII. Of the inadequate Idea entertained by many respectable 
• Persons concerning Christianity; with a Suggestion 
on the Expediency of their considering the true nature 
of Christian Philosopliy. ... 197 

LIII. On IndiiTerence and insensibility to Religion, arising 
from hardness of heart. No progress can be made 
in Christian Philosophy in such a State, as it is a State, 
incompatible with the divine influence. - 200 

LIV. A Self-examination recommended respecting religious 

insensibility. . , . . . 203 

LV. The Sum and Substance of Christian Philosophy the 
Rentival of the Heart by Divine Grace; or the soften- 
ing it and rendering it susceptible of virtuous and 
benevolent impressions, by cultivating the two grand 
principles — Piety to God, and Charity to Man. 207 

LVI. On spiritual Slumber, as described in the Scriptures, and 

the Necessity of being awakened. - - 200 

LVII. On the Peace of God, that calm and composed State, 
■which is produced by the Chrietia?i Philosophy, and is 


Sectiov JPag^ 

unknown to the Epicurean, Stoic, a,nd all oth^ Phi- 
losophy, antient and modern. - - - 223 

LVIII. General Reflections on Happiness — Errors in the pur- 
suit of it. — No sublunary Happiness perfect — Christ's 
Invitation to the wretched. Christian Philosophy af- 
fords the highest earthly Satisfaction. Its Summiim 
Bonum is a State of Graccy or the enjoyment of divine 
Favour. .«-..- 2o5 

LIX. Apologetical conclusion; with a Recapitulation, and 
addition of a few particular* respecting the preceding 
Subjectg, - - - - 244 


No. I. Cursory Remarks on one or two Objections in Mr. 
Pained last Pamphlet, against the Authenticity of the 
Gospel. - - - - 291 

No. II. . .- - . . 313 

No/IIL ----- 323 

No. IV. - . - - ^ 325 

No. v.* - ^ - " - 326 






Cupimus enim investlgare quid verum fit ; neque id solum, quod 
cum veritate, pietatem quoque praeterea erga Deum habeat 
conjunctarn. S ado let. 



ENTER on the subject of this volume with un- 
affected diffidence. I tread on holy ground with awe* 
Though much of my life, devoted to letters from the 
earliest age, has been spent in reading the best writers 
on the Christian doctrine, and more in contemplation of 
it, yet a sense of its high importance, and of my own 
fallibility, has long restrained the impulse which prompt* 
ed me to engage in its public discussion. NotbJng but 
conscious rectitude of intention, co-operating with the 
hope of obtaining the aid of God's holy Spirit, and the 
reader's indulgence, could animate the tremulous mind 
in an enterprise to which it feels and avows itself une- 
qual. A conviction that the subject is peculiarly sea«- 
sonable, has contributed to overcome reluctance. The 
TIMES indeed appear to me to call upon every professor 
of Christianity to vindicate, in the manner best adapted to 
his abilities and opportunities, its controverted truth, its 
insulted honour; and if I shall be fortunate enough to 



communicate one suggestion to the wavering mind, 
which may conduce to this great purpose, my labour 
will not be in vain, nor my undertaking deemed rashly 
adventurous. I shall have accomplished my wish. To 
diffuse the sunshine of religious hope and confidence 
over the shadowy path of life; to dissipate the gloom of 
doubt and despair; to save a soul from death; objects 
so desirable, inspire an ardour which enables zeal to 
triumph over timidity. 

That unbelief in Christ is increasing in the present 
age, and that the spirit of the times is rather favourable 
to its increase, has been asserted by high authority, and 
is too notorious to admit denial. The apostacy of a 
great nation, in the most enlightened and polished part 
of Europe; the public, unblushing avowal of atheism 
among some of its leaders ; the multiplication of books 
on the Continent, in which Christianity is treated as a 
mere mode of fanaticism ; all these circumstances have 
combined, with others, to cause not only an indifference 
to the religion of Christ, but contempt and aversion to 
his very name. It were easy to cite contumelious re- 
proaches of his person, as well as audacious denials of 
his claim to divine authority. But I will not pollute my 
page, which however it may be deformed by error, shall 
not be stained with the transfusion of blasphemy. It is 
to be wished that all such works could be consigned to 
immediate and everlasting oblivion ; but, I am sorry to 
say that they are diffused with an industry, which, if it 
appeared in making proselytes to virtue, would be in 
the highest degree meritorious. Almost every indivi- 
dual in our own country can now read ; and manuals of 
infidelity, of infidelity, replete with plausible arguments, 
in language level to the lowest classes, are circulated 
among the people, at a price which places them within 
reach of the poorest reader. They are despised by the 
rich and neglected by the learned, but they fall into the 


hands of the poor, to whom any thing in p,rint bears the 
stamp of authority. At the same time, it must be la- 
mented that there are treatises of a higher order, on the 
side of infideHty, which come recommended to the su- 
perior ranks, to men of knowledge and education, with 
all the charms of wit and elegance. 

But it cannot be said that the apologists and defenders 
of Christianity, in our country, have been few, or un- 
furnished with abilities natural and acquired. Great 
have been the efforts of our profoundest scholars, both 
professional divines and laymen, in maintaining the 
cause of Christianity, and repelling by argument, by 
ridicule, by invective, by erudition, the assaults of the 
infidel. But what shall we say? Notwithstanding their 
stupendous labours, continued with little intermission, 
the great cause which they maintained, is evidently, at 
this moment on the decline. Though many of them, 
not contented with persuasion and argument, have pro- 
fessed to DEMONSTRATE the truth of the Christian re- 
ligion, it is certain that a very great number of men in 
Christian countries continue unpersuaded, unconvinced, 
and totally blind to their demonstration. Such being the 
case, after all their voluminous productions, is it not 
to conclude that their modes of defence, however cele- 
brated, are either erroneous or defective? Had their 
success been equal to their labours and pretensions, infi- 
delity must now have been utterly exterminated. 

I feel a sincere respect for the learned labours of theo- 
logists, the subtilty of schoolmen, the erudition of critics, 
the ingenuity of controversialists; but I cannot help 
thinking that their productions have contributed rather 
to the amusement of recluse scholars already persuad- 
ed of Christianity, than to the conversion of the infidel, 
the instruction of the people. It appears to me, that 
some of the most elaborate of the writings in defence 
of Christianity are too cold in their manner, too meta- 


physical or abstruse in their arguments, too little ani- 
mated with the spirit of piety, to produce any great or 
durable effect on the heart of nnan, formed as he is, 
not only with intellectual powers, but with fine feelings 
and a glowing imagination. They touch not the trem- 
bling fibres of sensibility. They are insipid to the palate 
of the people. They have no attractions for the poor, 
the great multitude to whom the gosfiel was particularly 
preached. They are scarcely intelligible but to scholars 
in their closets, and while they amuse, without convinc- 
ing the understanding, they leave the most susceptible 
part of man, his bosom, unaffected. The busy world, 
eager in pursuit of wealth, honour, pleasure, pays them 
no regard; though they are the very persons whose 
attention to religion, which they are too apt to forget 
entirely, ought chiefly to be solicited. The academic 
recluse, the theologist by profession, may read them as 
a task or as an amusement ; but he considers them as 
works of erudition and exercises of ingenuity, claiming 
great praise as the product of literary leiaure, but little 
adapted to impress the heart, or convert the infidel or 
the profligate. The people are erring and straying like 
lost sheep, but in these calls they cannot recognize the 
voice of the shepherd. Such works indeed seldom reach 
the people ; and while they are celebrated in academic 
cloisters, their very existence is unknown among the 
haunts of men, in the busy hum of cities; where it is 
most desirable that they should be known, because there 
the great majority of human creatures is assembled, and 
there also the poison of temptation chiefly requires the 
antidote of religion. What avails it that defences of 
Christianity are very learned and very subtle, if they 
are so dry and unaffecting as to be confined in their ef- 
fects to sequestered scholars, far removed from the 
active world, and probably so firmly settled in the faith, 



as to require no new persuasives, no additional proofs to 
render them faithful followers of Jesus Christ? 

Apologies and attacks of this kind have very little 
effect in silencing infidel writers or changing their 
opinions. They frequently furnish fresh matter for dis- 
pute, and indeea i>ut arms into the hands of the enemy. 
By provoking discussion on points that were at rest, 
they rouse sophistry from its slumbers, and blow the 
trumpet of polemical wars, which do great mischief be- 
fore the re-establishment of peace. In the issue, the 
contending parties are silenced rather from weariness 
in the contest, than from conviction ; and Te Deum^ as 
is usual in other wars, is sung by those who are said to 
be vanquished, as well as those who claim the honour 
of undisputed victory. 

Thus it has happened that the writings of men, no 
less benevolent in their intentions than able in their ex- 
ertions, have sometimes not only done no good to their 
cause, but great injury. They have revived old cavils 
and objections, or invented new, in order to display in- 
genuity in refuting them; cavils and objections which 
have frequently been answered, or which might never 
have occurred ; but which, when once they have occur- 
red, produce suspicion and unsettled notions on topics 
never doubted, and among honest men whose faith 
was firmly established. Such conduct is like that of a 
physician, who should administer doses of arsenic to hia 
patients, in order to prove to them, at their risk, the 
sovereign power of his nostrunu The venom, finding 
a constitution favourable to its operation, triumphantly 
prevails, and the preventive remedy cannot rescue the 
sufferer from his hapless fate. 

I am persuaded, that even a sensible, thinking, and 
learned man might live his whole life in piety and peace, 
without ever dreaming of those objections to Christiani- 
ty, which some of its most celebrated defenders have 

B 2 


collected together from all ages and a great variety of 
neglected books, and then combined in a single portable 
volume, so as to render it a convenient synopsis of in- 
Jidelity, What must be the consequence? It must at 
least disturb the repose of the sensible, thinking, and 
learned man ; and if it should be read and understood 
by the simple, the unlearned, the unthinking, and the 
ill-disposed^ I am of opinion that its objections w^ould be 
studied, its solutions neglected ; and thus a very large 
number of recruits enlisted volunteers in the army of 

As an exemplification of what I have here advanced, 
I mention, in this place, Bishop Warburton's View of 
Lord Bolingbroke's Philosophy. There the unbeliever 
sees the scattered arguments of scepticism and unbelief 
all picked and culled for him, without any trouble of his 
own, and marked with inverted commas, so as to direct 
the eye, without loss of time, to their immediate peru- 
sal. The book becomes an anthologia of infidelity. The 
flowers are gathered from the stalks, and conveniently 
tied up in a nosegay. The essence is extracted and, put 
into a phial commodious for the pocket, and fitted for 
hourly use. The late Bishop Home, in his facetious 
Letters on Infidelity, has also collected passages from 
obscure books and pamphlets, and sent them abroad in 
such a manner as must of necessity cause them to be 
read and received, where they never would have found 
their way by their native force. These ingenious and 
well-meaning divines resuscitate the dead, and give life 
to the still-born and abortive offspring of dullness and 
malignity. I might mention many more instances of 
similar imprudence, in men of the deepest erudition and 
the sincerest piety ; but I am unwilling to follow their 
example, in pointing out to unbelievers compendiums, 
abridgments, and manuals of sceptical cavil. To say in 
their excuse that they refute those arguments which they 


insert so liberally from the writings of the unbeliever, 
may prove our candour, but not our judgnient or know- 
ledge of human nature. Evil is learned sooner and re- 
membered longer than good; and it would be better ta 
let many pamphlets of the deists sink into oblivion, than 
to preserve and extend them, by extracting their most 
noxious parts, and mixing them with the productions of 
men of learning and piety. The refutations are oftea 
long, laboured, and tedious, while the objections are 
short and lively. They are therefore either not read or 
soon forgotten, while a flippant sarcasm attracts atten- 
tion and fixes itself in the memory. It must also be 
allowed, that the refutations are too often unsatisfactory : 
and that the weakness of a fence invites new attacks, and 
gives fresh courage to the enemy. 

I think the style and manner of some among the cele- 
brated defenders of Christianity extremely improper. 
It is not respectful. It treats Jesus Christ as if he were 
inferior to the person who takes upon him to examine, 
as he phrases it, the pretensions of Jesus Christ. To. 
speak in an authoritative, inquisitorial language of the 
author of that religion by w^hich the writer himself pro- 
fesses to hope for salvation, can never serve the cause of 
Christianity. Think of a poor, frail, sinful mortal sit- 
ting a self-appointed judge, and like a lawyer in a hu- 
man court of judicature, arraigning Jesus Christ, the 
Lord of life, just as a venal solicitor might have ques- 
tioned the two thieves that were crucified with him, had 
they been accused at a modern police-office. The cold 
yet authoritative style of the tribunal has been much used 
in examining^ as it is called, that religion which brought 
life and immortality to light through the gospel. You 
would think the learned theologist, who assumes the 
office of an examiner, another Pontius Pilate. He sits 
in the seat of judgment, and with judicial importance 
coldly pronounces on the words and actions of that Sa- 


viour, whom he owns to be the great Captain of salva- 

In such defences or examinations, Jesus Christ is spo- 
ken of in terms that must divest him of his gloiy, and 
therefore vihfy him in the eyes of the gainsayers, and 
all unthinking people. But how, on the contrary, do 
\X\^ prophets represent him? Language has no terms of 
magnificence adequate to his dignity. 

The prophets describe Jp:sus Christ as the most 
august personage which it is possible to conceive. They 
speak of him indeed as the seed of the %voman and the 
Sonofmmi; but at the same time describe him of celes- 
tial race. They announce him as a being exalted above 
men and angels ; above " all principality and power ; as 
" the Word and the Wisdom of God; as the Heir of 
" all things, by whom God made the worlds; as the 
" Brightness of God's glory, the express Image of his 
" Person." 

Thus speak the prophets of our Lord and Saviour 
Jesus Christ. Now let us hear an ingenious apologist 
and defender of him and his religion. A reverend au- 
thor, highly estimable for his learning and ingenuity, 
and whom I sincerely esteem, speaking of Jesus Christ, 
in a book professedly written to vindicate his truth and 
honour, repeatedly calls him, " a Jewish fieasant^' and 
a " peasant of Galilee*" " For what are we compar- 
'' ing?" says he, (in a comparison of Jesus Christ with 
Mahomet) " a Galilean peasant, accompanied with a 
" few fishermen, with a conqueror at the head of his 
" army;" and again, in the next page, " a Jewish pea- 
" SANT overthrew the religion of the world." 

Unbelievers are commonly men of the world ; fasci- 
nated by its pomps and vanities. Is it the most likely 
means to overcome their prejudices, and teach them to 
bow the knee to Jesus, thus to lower his personal digni- 
ty \ Was there any occasion for it? Do not the prophets, 


as I have just now observed, exalt him above every 
name? Why call him peasant? The term I think by 
no means appropriate to him, siipposini^ that it were 
not an injudicious degradation of his character in the 
eyes of unthinking worldlings and malignant unbeliev- 
ers. There is something peculiarly disgusting in hear- 
ing dignified ecclesiastics, living in splendor and afflu- 
ence entirely in consequence of the religion of Jesus 
Christ, speaking of him in their defences of his religion, 
as a PEASANT, as a person, compared to themselves, vile 
and despicable. Such arguments as this appellation is 
meant to support, will never render service to Christi- 
anity. The representation becomes a stumbling-block 
and a rock of offence. I might however produce seve- 
ral other instances of the great writers who have afford- 
ed precedents for such degrading appellations of Jesus 
Christ. But neither the infidel nor the Christian will 
easily believe that the man who calls his Saviour a/ze-a- 
sant^ after the glorious representations of him which the 
prophets give, feels that awe and veneration which is 
due to the Son of God, the Lord of life, the Saviour and 
Redeemer. I forbear to specify them. One instance 
is sufficient to point out my meaning, and shew the rea- 
son why some ingenious apologies for Christianity are 
totally ineffectual. 

Dry argumentation and dull disquisition, unanimated 
by the spirit of piety and devotion, will never avail to 
convert unbelievers, and to diff*use the doctrines of Chris- 
tianity. Life, death, heaven and hell, are subjects of too 
much importance to be treated by a sincere mind, duly 
impressed by them, with the coolness of a lawyer giving 
an opinion on a statute or case in which ajiothtr's pro- 
perty or privileges are concerned. The spirit of piety 
seems to have been wanting in some of the most logical 
and metaphysical defenders of Christianity. They speak 
^f Christ, when they are examhiing the truth of the doc- 


trine, with calm indifference, as if they were dull virtuo- 
sos discussing the genuineness of a medal, or the authen- 
ticity of a manuscript, valuable only as an amusing curi- 
osity. If St. Paul had been no warmer an advocate 
than certain famous apologists for Christ's doctrine, he 
would never have prevailed with the Gentiles to relin- 
quish their polytheism, and we of this island should, at 
this day, have remained in the darkness of idolatry. 
Without the spirit of piety, all proofs and defences of 
Christianity are a dead letter. The multitude will not 
even read them ; and infidels, if they do not despise them 
too much to attend to them at all, will only read to find 
fresh matter for cavil and objection. 

I may be v/rong in my theory. I therefore appeal to 
fact. The fact is evident, that, notwithstanding all that 
has been written to dernonstrate Christianity, by argu- 
ment drawn from reasoning and history, infidelity has 
increased, and is every day increasing more and more. 
I^et those who think the dry argumentative apologies 
irresistibly convincing, now bring them forward, and 
silence the gainsayers at once. The demonstrations of 
a Huet, the evidences of a Clarke, the reasonings of a 
Locke, a Grotius, a Hartley, should be presented in the 
most striking manner, by public authority, and if they 
are really efficacious in producing conviction, we may 
be assured that infidelity will vanish at their appearance, 
like the mists of an autumnal morning, when the meri- 
dian sun breaks forth in full splendor. But the truth is, 
they are already very much diffused, and yet the Chris- 
tian religion is said to be rapidly on the decline. 

Therefore it cannot be blameable to attempt some 
other method of calling back the attention of erring mor- 
tals to the momentous truths of revealed revelation. 

I have conceived an idea that our old English divines 
were great adepts in genuine Christianity, and that their 
i^^ethod of recommending it was judicious, because I 


know it was successful. There was much more piety 
in the last century than in the present; and there is 
every reason to believe that infidelity was rare. Bishop 
Hall appears to me to have been animated with the true 
spirit of Christianity ; and I beg leave to convey my own 
ideas on the best method of diffusing that spirit, in his 
pleasingly-pious and simple language. 

^' There is not," says the venerable prelate, so much 
" need of learning as of grace to apfirehend those things 
" which concern our everlasting peace ; neither is it our 
<' brain that must be set to work, but our hearts. 
" However excellent the use of scholarship in all the 
" sacrexl employments of divinity ; yet in the main act, 
" which imports salvation, skill must give place to af* 
" FECTioN. Happy is the soul that is possest of Christ, 
" how poor soever in all inferior endowments. Ye are 
" wide, O ye great wits, while ye spend yourselves in 
^' curious questions and learned extravagancies. Ye shall 
" find one touch of Christ more worth to your souls than 
" all your deep and laborious disquisitions, hi vain shall 
" ye seek for this in your books^ if you miss it in your 
"bosoms. If you know all things, and cannot say, / 
<^ kiiow whom I have believed^ you have but knowledge 
" enough to know yourselves completely miserable. The 
" great mysteries of Godliness, which to \ht great clerks 
*' of the world, are as a book clasped and sealed up, lie 
" open before him, (the pious and devout man) fair and 
*' legible; and while those book-men know whom they 
" have heard of, he knows whom he hath believed^^ 

Christianity indeed, like the sun, discovers itself by 
its own lustre. It shines with unborrowed light on the 
devout heart. It wants little external proof, but carries 
its own evidence to him that is regenerate and born of 
the Spirit. " The truth of Christianity," says a pious 
author, " is the Spirit of God living and working in it; 
" and when this Spirit is not the life of it, there the 


" outward form is but like the carcase of a departed 
" soul.'* 

Divinity has certainly been confused and perplexed 
by the learned. It requires to be disentangled and sim- 
plified. It appears to me to consist in this single point, 
the restoration of the divine lifc^ the image of God, (lost 
or defaced at the fall) by the operation of the Holy 

When this is restored, every other advantage of Chris- 
tianity follows in course. Pure morals are absolutely 
necessary to the reception of the Holy Ghost, and an 
imavoidable consequence of his continuance. The at^- 
tainment of grace is then the unum necessarium. 
It includes in it all gospel comfort, it teaches all virtue, 
and infallibly leads to light, life and immortality. 


On the sort of EvideJice chiefly recommended and attempt*' 
ed to be disjilayed in this Treatise. 

Qiiid est fideliter Christo credere ? est fidelitcr Dei mandata ser- 
vare. Salvian, c/e Gub. lib. 3. 

A THINK it right to apprize my reader, on the 
very threshold, that if he expects a recapitulation of the 
external and historical evidence of Christianity, he will 
be disappointed. For all such evidence I must refer 
him to the great and illustrious names of voluminous 
theologists, who have filled with honour the professional 
chairs of universities, and splendidly adorned the annals 
of literature. I revere their virtuous characters; I highly 
appreciate their learned labours ; I think the student who 
is abstracted from active life, may derive from them 
much amusejnenty while he increases his stores of criti- 


cal erudition, and becomes enabled to discourse or dis^ 
pute on theology. But men, able to command their 
time, and competently furnished with ability for deep and 
extensive investigation, are but a small number in the 
mass of mankind. That systematic or speculative trea- 
tise which may delight and instruct such men, in the 
cool shade of philosophical retirement, will have little 
effect on the minds of others who constitute the multi- 
tude of mertals, eagerly engaged in providing for the 
wants of the passing day, or warmly contending for the 
glittering prizes of secular ambition. Indeed, I never 
heard that the laborious proofs of Christianity, in the 
historical and argumentative mode, ever converted any 
of those celebrated authors on the side of infidelity, who 
have, from time to time, spread an alarm through Chris- 
tendom, and drawn forth the defensive pens of every 
church and university in Europe. The infidel wits 
wrote on in the same cause ; deriving fresh matter for 
cavil from the arguments of the defenders ; and re-as- 
sailing the citadel with the very balls hurled from its bat- 
tlements in superfluous profusion. 

What, then, it may be justly asked, have I to offer? 
What is the sort of evidence which I attempt to display ? 
It is an internal evidence of the truth of the gospel, 
consequent on obedience to its precepts. It is a sort 
of evidence, the mode of obtaining which is pointed out 
by Jesus Christ himself, in the following declaration : 
<' If any man will do his will, he shall know of the 
;" DOCTRINE whether it be of God*." 

But how shall he know? By the illumination of 
THE HOLY Spirit of God, which is promised by Christ, 
to those who do his will. 

Therefore if any man seriously and earnestly desires 
to become a Christian, let him begin^ whatever doubts 

* John vii. 17. 



he may entertain of the truth of Christianity, by firac- 
tising those moral virtues, and cultivating those amiable 
dispositions, which the written gospel plainly requires, 
and tlciQ grace of God, will gradually remove the veil from 
his eyes and from his heart, so as to enable him to see 
and to love the things v/hich belong to his peace, and 
which are revealed in the* gospel only. Let him make 
the experiment and persevere^ The result will be the 
full conviction that Christianity is true. The sanctify- 
ing Spirit will precede, and the illuminating Spirit fol- 
low in consequence. 

I take it for granted, that God has given all men the 
means of knowing that which it imports all men to know ; 
but if, in order to gain the knowledge requisite to be- 
come a Christian, it is necessary to read such authors 
as Grotius, Limborch, Clarke, Lardner, or Warburton, 
how few, in the great mass of mankind, can possibly 
acquire that knowledge and consequent faith which arc 
necessary to their salvation? 

But every human being is capable of the evidence 
which arises from the divine illumination. It is offered 
to all. And they who reject it, and seek only the evi- 
dence which human means afford, shut out the sun, and 
content themselves either with total darkness or the fee- 
ble Hght of a taper. 

" There is" (says the excellent Bishop Sanderson) 
" to the outward tender of grace in the ministry of the 
^' £^ospel, annexed an inivard offer of the same to the 
" HEART, by the Spirit of God going along with his 
" WORD, which some of the schoolmen call aitxilium 
« gratids gencrak^ sufficient of itself to convert the soul 
" of the hearer, if he do not resist the Holy Ghost, and 
<' reject the grace offered ; which, as it is grounded on 
" these words. Behold I stand at the door and knock^ and 
" upon very many passages of scripture beside, so it 
« ^tandeth with reason that the offer, if accepted^ should 


^^ be sufficient^ ex parte sua^ to do the work, which, if 
" not accepted, is sufficient to leave the person, not ac- 
" cepting the same, in-excusable.'* 

The outward testimony to the truth of the gospel, is 
certainly a very strong^one; but yet it is found insuffi- 
cient without the inward testimony. The best under- 
standings have remained unconvinced by the outward 
testimony ; while the meanest have been fully persuaded 
by the co-operation of the inward^ the divine irradiation 
of the Holy Ghost shining upon and giving lustre to the 
letter of revelation. 

But because the doctrine of divine influence on the 
human mind is obnoxious to obloquy, I think it neces- 
sary to support it by the authority of sonie of the best 
men and soundest divines of this nation, ouch are the 
prejudices entertained by many against the doctrine of 
divine influence and the witness of the Spirit, that I can- 
not proceed a step farther, with hope of success, till I 
have laid before my reader several pe^ssages in confir- 
mation of it, from the writings of men who were the 
ornaments of their times, and who are at this day 
esteemed no less for their orthodoxy and powers of rea- 
son than their eloquence. I make no apology to my 
reader for the length of the quotations from them, be- 
cause I am sure he will be a gainer, if I keep silence 
that they may be heard in the interval. My object is 
to re-establish a declining opinion, which I think not 
only true, but of prime importance. I therefore with- 
draw myself occasionally, that I may introduce those 
advocates for it, whose very names must command at- 
tention. If I can but be instruinental in reviving the 
true Spirit of Christianity, by citing their authority, 
their's be the praise, and mine the humble office of re- 
commending and extending their salutary doctrine. 

^' And if it shall be asked (to express myself nearly in 
the words of Archbishop Wake) why I so often chuse 


the drudgery of a transcriber^ the reason is shortly this: 
I hoped that quotations from departed writers of great 
and deserved fame would find a more general and un« 
prejudiced acceptance with all sorts of men, than any 
thing that could be WTitten by any one now living, who^ 
if esteemed by some, is yet in danger of being despised 
by more; whose prejudice to his person will not suffer 
them to reap any benefit by any thing, however useful, 
that can come from him ; while such passages as these 
which I cite, must excite respect and attention, unmix- 
ed (as the authors are dead) with any malignant senti- 
ment or prepossession against them, such as might 
close the eyes of the understanding against the radi-' 
ance of truth."* 


On the prejudices entertained against this Sort of Evi* 
dence^ and against all divine and supernatural Iriftuence 
on the Mind of Man^ 

klJiNCE the time of archbishop Laud, the most 
celebrated defenders of Christianity have thought it 
proper to expatiate, with pecuUar zeal, on the excel- 
lence of natural religion. They probably had reasons 
for their conduct; but it must not be dissembled, that 
in extolling natural religion tbey have appeared to de- 
preciate or supersede revelation. The doctrine of su^ 

* The following text may, I think, confirm the opinion advan-* 
ced in this Section, that the best evidence will arise from 


** And we are his witnesses of these things ; and so is also th^ 
" Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that OBEY 
<* him," Acts, v. 37. 


fietmatiiral assistance^ the great privilege of Christianity, 
has been very little enforced by them, and indeed rather 
discountenanced, as savouring of enthusiasm, and claim- 
ing, if true, a decided superiority over their favourite 
religion of nature. 

Upon this subject, a very sensible writer thus ex- 
presses his opinion: 

" Towards making and forming a Christian, li super- 
" natural assistance of the divine Spirit was necessary at 
" the beginning of the gospel, I do not see what should 
" render it less necessary at any time since, nor why it 
" may not be expected now. Human learning and hu- 
" man wisdom have rashly and vainly usurped the place 
" of it. 

'' It is observable that these old principles are still to be 
^^ found among dissenters, in a good measure, which is 
" the reason why their opponents have dropped the use 
" of them. 

" As these doctrines were the principles and language 
" of the dissenters, and others, who followed the stan- 
" dard of the Parliament against King Charles the First, 
" though they were not the particular motives of the war, 
'^ nor could contract any just blame from the unhappy 
" issue of .that war; yet, at the restoration of King 
" Charles the Second, the resentment which took place 
" against dissenters ran high, and I apprehend led the 
" church clergy not only to be angry with the men^ but 
" to forsake their principles too, though right and inno- 
" cent in themselves, and aforetime held in common 
" among all Protestants." 

This, the author thinks, gave rise to the excessive zeal 
for enforcing natural religion, and for mere moral preach- 
ing, to the exclusion of the distinguishing doctrines of 
Christ, and particularly those sublime mysteries respect- 
ing the operation of the Holy Ghost, the very life and 
soul of Christianity. 

c 2 


" Every thing/' says he, " besides morality began from? 
" that time, to be branded with the odious term of enthu-- 
" siasm and hypocrisy. That the cause of religion (ob- 
" serves the same w^riter) has declined for many years, 
" every person appears sensible. Among the various 
" reasons assigned for it, the principal, in my opinion,, 
<' is, that the established ministers have suffered it to die 
" in their own hands, by departing from the old method 
<^ of preaching, and from their first and original tenets; 
" which has given countenance to what is called natural 
" religion, in such a measure, as to shut out revealed 
" religion and supersede the gospel! 

" It is in vain to cry out against deists and infidels, 
" when the Protestant watchmen have deserted their 
" post, and themselves have opened a gap for the ene- 
" my. Learning and oratory, it must be owned, are 
" arrived at great perfection, but our true eld divinity is 
" gone. Amid these splendid trifles, the gospel is 
" really lost.*" 

It is certain, that the profligate court of Charles the 
Second, in its endeavours to discredit the dissenters, 
many of whom wei^ admirable scholars and divines, as 
well as holy and exemplary men in private life, contri- 
buted much to explode all doctrines concerning the Spi- 
rit. Unfortunately those clergymen who wished to bq 
favoured at court, too easily conformed their doctrines 
to its wishes ; and arguments from the pulpit united with 
sarcasms from the seat of the scorner, to render all wi\a 
maintained the doctrine of grace suspected of enthusi- 
asm and hypocrisy. Ridicule, in the hands of the autiior 
of Hudibras, though intended only to serve political pur- 
poses, became a weapon that wounded religion in its* 

* See a Letter signed Fauli?mst published in 1735. 


The sect of Christians denominated Quakers, cer- 
tainly entertain many right notions respecting divine 
influence: and therefore, as the Quakers were disliked 
by the church, the doctrines which they maintained 
>vere to be treated with contempt. The Spirit, whose 
operations they justly maintain, became, under the di- 
rection of worldly policy, a word of reproach to them. 
Consequently aspiring clergymen, wishing to avoid 
every doctrine which could retard their advancement, 
or fix a stigma of heterodoxy upon them, were very 
little inclined to preacl? the necessity of divine illumi- 
nation. They feared the opprobrious names of enthu- 
siasts or hypocrites, and so became ashamed of the gos- 
pel of Christ. 

In process of time, arose the sect of the Methodists ; 
who, however they may be mistaken in some points, are 
certainly orthodox in their opinions of the divine agency 
on the human soul. They found it in the scriptures, 
in the liturgy, in the articles, and they preached it with 
a zeal which to many appeared intemperate, and cer- 
tainly was too- little guided by discretion. The conse- 
quence v/as, that the spiritual doctrines^ already vilified 
by the court of Charles the Second, and by the adver- 
saries of the Quakers, became objects of general dislike 
and derision. 

In the meantime, the gospel of Jesus Christ suffered 
by its professed friends as well as declared enemies* 
Regular divines of great virtue, learning, and true piety, 
feared to preach the Holy Ghost and its operations, the 
main doctrine of the gospel, lest they should counte- 
nance the Puritan, the Quaker, or the Methodist, and 
lose the esteem of their own order, or of the higher 
powers. They often contented themselves, during a 
long fife, with preaching morality only ; which, without 
the Spirit of Christianity, is hke a beautiful statue from 
the hand of a Bacon ; however graceful its symmetry and 


polished its materials, yet wanting the breath of life, it 
is still but a block of marble. 

These prejudices remaininjc^ at thisday,! have thought 
it right to recommend the sort of evidence which this 
book attempts to display, by citing the authority of great 
divines, who, uninfluenced by secular hopes or fears, 
have borne witness to the truth as it is in Jesus. They 
are among the most celebrated theologists of this nation ; 
and such as few among living or recent writers will pre- 
sume to vie with, in extent of knowledge, in power of 
expression, and zeal for Christianity. 

Bitter is the anger of controversialists in divinity. 
Arrows dipt in venom are usually hurled at a writer, 
who ventures to recommend a doctrine which they dis- 
approve. I must seek shelter under the shields of such 
men as Bishop Taylor, Doctor Isaac Barrow, and others, 
in and out of the establishment, who fought a good fight 
and KEPT THE FAITH, haviug no regard to worldly and 
sinister motives, but f^dthfully endeavouring to lead those, 
over whom they were appointed guides, by the radiance 
of gospel light, from the shadowy mazes of error into 
the pleasant paths of piety and peace. 

Whatever obloquy may follotv the teaching' of such doc- 
trine^ I shall incur it with alacrity, because I believe it 
to be the truth, and that the happiness of human nature 
is highly concerned in its general reception. I will 
humbly say, therefore, with St. Paul, " I am not asham- 
*' ed of the gospel of Christ Jesus, for it is the power 
" of God unto salvation."* 

And as to those who deny the doctrine of divine influ- 
ence, I feai- they are guilty of blasphemy against the 
Holy Ghost. I speak diflidently, as it becomes every 
mortal on a subject so momentous; but let those who 
are eager to deny and even deride the doctrine, consi- 

* Rom. L 16. 


der duly what is meant by the sin against the Holy 
Ghost, and let them remember this tremendous decla- 
ration of our Saviour himself, that blaspi-iemy against 
THE Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven.* All 
other sins, we are expressly told, may be remitted, but 
on this the gates of mercy are closed. The denial of 
the Spirit's energy renders the gospel of no eifect, ex- 
tinguishes the living light of Jesus Christ, and involves 
wretched mortals in the darkness and death of Adam> 
fallen from the state of primitive perfection. It is re- 
presented as the greatest of all sins, because it is pro- 
ductive of the greatest misery. 


The firofier Evidence of the Christian Religion is the Ilhc* 
mination of the Holy Ghost j shining into the Hearts of 
those who do not close them against its Entrance^ The 
Opinion of Dr\ Gloucester Ridley cited* 

XN ONE says St. Paul, can say Jesus is the 
Lord, but by the Holy GnosT.f If, then, St. Paul be 
allowed to have understood the Christian religion, it ia 
certain, that mere human testimony will never convince 
the infidel, and produce that faith which constitutes the 
true Christian. Our theological libraries might be clear- 
ed of more than half their volumes, if men seeking the 
evidence of Christianity^ would be satisfied with the 
declaration of St, Paul, and of the great Author of our 

There is a faith very common in the world, which 
teaches to believe, as an historical fact, that a person of 

* Matth, xii. 31. \ I Cor. xii. 3. 


the name of Jesus, a very good man, did live on earth, 
and that he preached and taught, under the direction of 
God or divine providence, an excellent system of mo- 
rality; such, as^ if duly; observed, would contribute to 
their happiness, and recommend them to divine favour. 
But this kind of faith is not the right faith; it believes 
not enough, it is not given by the Holy Ghost ; for he, in 
whom God dwelleth, confesseth that Jesus is the Son of 
God, and the Saviour of the world*; but they who ac- 
knowledge Jesus only as a good man teaching morality, 
know him not as a Saviour. Socrates taught fine mo- 
rality; and so did Seneca, Epictetus, and many more; 
but they had not and could not teach the knowledge 
which leadeth to salvation. 

" Illuminating grace," says Dr. Gloucester Ridley, 
" consists not in the assent we give to the history of 
" the gospel, as a narration of matters of fact, suffi- 
^' ciently supported by human evidence; for this may 
" be purely the effect of our study and learning. The 
" collating of copies, the consulting of history, the com- 
" paring the assertions of friends and the concessions of 
"enemies, may necessitate! such a belief, a faith 
" which the devils may have, and doubtless have it. 
" This sort of faith is an acquisition of our own, and not 


" There may be a faith," continues Dr. Ridley, 
^' w^hich is not the work of the Spirit in our hearts, but 
" entirely the effect of human means, our natural facul- 
*' ties assisted by languages, antiquities, manuscripts, 

* 1 John, iv. 13, 14, 15. 

t^loi ivi^ynuig ij^yivof/^ivi, Basil in Psal. 195. — The right faith 
is not that which is forced by mathematical demons^raiion, 
whether we ivi'i or not ; but that which grows in the mind from 
the operation or energies of the Spikit. 


" criticism, and the like, without any divine aid) except 
" the bare letter of the revelation; and as this faith may 
^' rise out of human abilities, so may it be attended with 
*' pride in our supposed accomplishments, envy of others 
" superior skill, and bitter strife against those who mis- 
" take or oppose such truths ; and is therefore no mani- 
" festation of that Spirit which resisteth the firoud^ and 
" dispenses its graces only to the humble. This wis- 


" saving faith, at the same time that it informs the un- 
^^ derstandmg, influences the will and affections; 
" it enlightens the eyes of the heart*, says the apostle : 
" it is there^ in the heart, that the Christian man be- 
^' lieveth; and if thou believest with thine heart, thoi6 
<^ shalt be savedj; while infidelity proceedeth from an 
" averseness of our affections,— ^om an evil heart ofun^ 
« belief \:' 

It is not therefore strange, that learned apologists, 
well acquainted with scripture, should, after reading 
these strong declarations, that the heart must be im- 
pressed before faith can be fixed in it, should studiously 
avoid every topic which addresses itself to the affections^ 
and coldly apply themselves to the understanding, in a 
language and manner which might become a mathe- 
matical lecturer solving a problem of Euclid. 

Infidelity is increasing, and will continue to increase, 
so long as divines decline the means of conversion and 
persuasion which the scriptures of the New Testament 
declare to be the only effectual means ; so long as they 

* IIs(pcSli(rfAiy6Vi rovg 6(p6xX(xovg t*j Koc^^ioig, Ephesians, i. 
18. — Enlightening the eyes of the heart. Almost all the old 
MSS. read zot^iocq^ and not dixyotoi^y as it stands in our printed 

See MilFs Lectiones Variantes. RiDLjgy, 

t Rom. X. 9. J Heb. ii. 12. 

S6 cHRisfiAyf PHiLosornr. 

have recourse to human reason and human learning 
ONLY, in which they will always find opponents very 
powerful. The Lord opened the heart of Lydia*, and 
then she attended to the things which were spoken of 
Paul. The Lord opens the hearts of all men at some 
period of their lives ; but the vanity of the world, the 
cares of gain, the pride of life, shut them again^ and re- 
ject the Holy Ghost. It is the business of divines to 
dispose those who are thus unfortunate and unwise, to 
be ready to receive the divine guest, should he again 
knock at the door of their hearts ; but in doing this, they 
must preach the true gospel^ which is not a system of 
mere human morality or philosophy, but the doctrine 
of gracef. 


The true and only convincing Evidence of the Religion of 
Christy or the Illumination of the Holy Ghost is offered 

to ALL. 

A ROM the eternal Fountain of light, both na- 
tural and spiritual, there streams a light which light eth 
every one that cometh into the world* Whoever loves 
that which is good and just and true, and desires to act 
a virtuous part in his place allotted to him in this world, 
whether high or low, may be assured of the blessing of 
of heaven, displaying itself not perhaps in worldly riches 
or honours, but in something infinitely more valuable, — 
a SECRET INFLUENCE upon liis heart and understand- 
ing, to direct his conduct, to improve his nature, and to 

* Acts, xvi. 14. 

t It must be tanght mediate per verbiim, immediate /er Spi^ 



lead him, though in the lowly vale, yet along the path of 

The nature of all men was depraved by the fall of 
Adam. The assistance of God's Holy Spirit was with- 
drawn. Christ came to restore that nature, and to bring 
down that assistance, and leave it as a gift, a legacy to 
Jill mankind after his departure. 

In Adam all die, says St. Paul, but in Christ shall 
all be made alive. That is in Adam all die a spiritual 
death, or lose the Paraclete^ the particle of the divine 
nature, which was bestowed on man on his creation ; and 
in Christ all are made alive, spiritually alive, or rendered 
capable, if they do not voluntarily choose darkness ra- 
ther than light, of the divine illumination of the Holy 
Ghost. ThQ ^Im is taken from the eyes of all, but the 
eye-lids remain, which may be closed by voluntary con- 
nivance, or by w icked presumption. 

" I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh*." 

^' The grace which bringeth salvation hath appeared 
'^ unto ALL men."— ^" This is the light which lighteth 
" every man that cometh into the world." — " It is his 
" will, that all men should be saved, and come to the 
" knowledge of the truth." — " Christ came to save sin- 
" ners ; and we have before proved, both Jews and Gen- 
" tiles, that they are all under sin." — " Come unto me 
" all ye that labour and are heavy laden." — " He has 
" propitiated for the sins of the whole world. Plis 
" grace has been openly offered to all men in the gos- 
« pelf." 

These passages, which no sophistry can elude, are 
sufficient to prove that the internal evidence of the 
gospel has a great advantage over the external, in the 

* Joel, ii. 28. 

t 1 Tim, ii. 4. 1 Tim. i. 15. Rom. iii. 9. Matth. ii. 28v 
1 John, ii. 2 Tit. ii. 2. 


circumstance of its universality. All may be convinced 
by it who are willing*. But can this be said of dry, 
logical, systematic testimonies, which require learning, 
sagacity, and time^ to be comprehended? Such testimo- 
nies are fit iorfrw^ and appear unlikely to produce vital 
religion in any. They serve men to talk about, they 
furnish matter for logomachy ; but they leave the heart 
unaffected. Neither Jesus Christ nor his apostles 
thought proper to address men systematically. And are 
critics, linguists, and logicians wiser than the Author of 
their religion, and better informed than his apostles ? 

The word of God is like a two-edged sword j invincible 
where it is properly used; but the word of man is com- 
paratively a feeble weapon, without point or edge. The 
word of man alone, though adorned with ail eloquence, 
learning, and logical subtilty, will never stop the 
progress of unbeHef. The word of God rightly ex- 
plained, so as to administer grace to the hearers and 
readers, will still preserve and extend Christianity, as it 
has hitherto done, notwithstanding all the opposition of 
the world, and those unfeeling children of it, whose 
hearts are hardened and understandings darkened by 
the pride of life. If, therefore, as St. James advises, 
any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth 
TO ALL moxi liberally^ and upbraideth not, and it shall be 
given him. The wisdom here meant is that which 
maketh wise unto salvation ; and certainly is not to be 
found in the cold didactic writings of those who rely 
entirely on their own reason, and deny or explain away 
the doctrine of grace. 3 

Grace is the living gospel. Perishable paper, pens, 
ink, and printer's types, can never supersede the daily, 

* H ^gy yot.^ )C^^^^ g<? IIANTAS iKKS^vlecu Chrysostoh 
i?i yoan. Mom.'^For grace indeed is poured oiit upon all. 


hourly operation of the omniscient and omnipotent Crea- 
tor and Preserver of the universe. 

Let us remember, " that to every man is given the 
" manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal." 1 Cor. 
xii. 7. 

Mr. Paine, in his attack on Christianity, sums up all 
his objections at the close. The first and greatest is 
this, and I give it in his own words, though it is con- 
trary to my practice, and opinion of propriety, often to 
cite the cavils of unbelievers : " The idea or belief of a 
" word of God existing in print, or in writing, or in 
" SPEECH, is inconsistent with itself, for reasons already 
" assigned. These reasons, among many others, are 
" the want of an universal language ; the mutability of 
" language ; the errors to which translations are subject; 
" the possibility of totally suppressing such a word ; the 
" probability of altering it, or of fabricating the whole, 
" and imposing it upon the world." 

Now these objections cannot possibly be made to the 
evidence of the Spirit of God, the manifestation of the Sfii^ 
rit given to every man ; because the Spirit speaks an uni- 
versal language^ addressing itself to the feelings of the 
heart, which are the same, whatever sounds are uttered 
by the tongue ; because its language is not subject to the 
mutability of human dialects ; because it is far removed 
from the possibility of misrepresentation by translators ; 
because it cannot be totally suppressed; because it can- 
not be altered ; because it cannot be fabricated or im- 
posed on the world; because it is an emanation from 
the God of truth, the same yesterday, to-day, and for- 
ever. This evidence sheds its light all over the Chris- 
tian world, and is seen, like the sun in the heavens, by all 
who use their visual powers, unobstructed by self-raised 
clouds of passion, prejudice, vice, and false philosophy. 



Ofiinions of Bishop Taylor resfiecting the Evidence of the 
Holy Spirit ; " shewing''' (as he expir esses it) " how 
" the Scholars of the University shall become most 
" LEARNED and most useful*'' 

" VV E have examined all ways, in our inqui- 
" ries after religious truth, but one ; all but God's way*. 
" Let us, having missed in all the other, try this. Let 
" us go to God for truth ; for truth comes from God 
" only. If we miss the truth, it is because we will not 
" find it ; for certain it is, that all the truth which God 
" hath made necessary, he hath also made legible and 
" plain; and if we will open our eyes we shall see the 
" sun, and if %ve will walk in the light we sluill rejoice in 
" the light. Only let us withdraw the curtains, let us 
^^ remove the impediments, and the sin that doth so 
<' easily beset us. That is God's way. Every man 
" must, in his station, do that portion of duty which God 
" requires of him; and then he shall be taugkt of 
" God all that is fit for him to learn ; there is no other way 
'^for him but this. The fear of the Lord is the begin- 
" ning of wisdom; and a good understanding have all 
" they that do thereafter. And so said David of him- 
'' self: I have more under stcmding than my teachers ; be^ 
" cause I keep thy commandments. And this is the only 
" way which Christ has taught us. If you ask, what is 
" truth ? you must not do as Pilate did, ask the question, 
" and then go away from him that only can give you an 
" answer; for as (iod is the Author of truth, so he is 
" the Teacher of it, and the way to learn is this; for 

* See Bishop Taylor's Via Zntclligcntia, 


" SO saith our blessed Lord; If any man will do his will, 

" he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God or no* 

" This text is simple as truth itself, but greatly com- 
" prehensive, and contains a truth that alone will enable 
" you to understand all mysteries, and to expound all 
" prophecies, and to interpret all scriptures, and to 
" search into all secrets, all, I mean, which concern our 
" happiness and our duty. It is plainly to be resolved 
" into this proposition: 

" The way to judge of religion is by doing 
" OUR duty; and theology is rather a divine 
" life than a divine knowledge. 

" In heaven indeed we shall first see and then love ; 
" but here on earth we must first love, and love will 
" open our eyes as well as our hearts, and we shall then 
" see and perceive and understand. 

" Every man understands more of religion by his 
" affections than by his reason. It is not the wit of the 
" man, but the spirit of the man; not so much his head 
" as his heart that learns the divine philosophy. 

" There is in every righteous man a new vital prin- 
" ciple. The spirit of grace is the spirit of wisdom, 
" and teaches us by secret inspirations, by proper argu- 
" ments, by actual persuasions, by personal applications, 
" by effects and energies ; and as the soul of man is the 
" cause of all his vital operations, so is the Spirit of God 
" the life of thai life, and the cause of all actions and 
^^ productions spiritual ; and the consequence of this is 
" what St. John tells us of; Ye have received the unc- 
" tion fro7n above ^ and that anointing teacheth you all 
<' things^ — all things of some one kind ; that is, certaiu- 
" ly all things that pertain to life and godliness; all that 
" by which a man is wise and hap-fiy. Unless the soul 
" have a new life put into it, unless there be a vital prin- 
" ciple within, unless the Spirit of life be the informer of 

*^ the spirit of the man, the word of God will be as dead 

D 2 


" in the operation as the body in its powers and possi- 
" bilities. 

" God's Spirit does not destroy reason, but heightens 
" it. God opens the heart and creates a new one, and 
" without this creaticm, this new principle of life, we may 
" hear the word of God, but we can never understand it ; 
*' we hear the sound, but are never the better. Unless 
*' there be in our hearts a secret conviction by the Spirit 
" of God, the gospel itself is a dead letter. 

" Do we not see this by daily experience? Even those 
" things which a good man and an evil man know, they 
" do not know both alike. An evil man knows that God 
" is lovely, and that sin is of an evil and destructive 
*^ nature, and when he is reproved he is convinced; and 
" when he is observed, he is ashamed ; and when he has 
" done, he is unsatisfied ; and when he pursues his sin, 
" he does it in the dark. Tell him lie shall die, and he 
^' sighs deeply, but he knonx^s it as well as you. Proceed, 
'^ and say that after death comes judgment, and the poor 
" man believes and trembles ; and yet, after all this, he 
" runs to commit his sin with as certain an event and 
" resolution as if he knenv no argument against it. 

" Now since, at the same time, we see other persons, 
" not so learned, it may be, not so much versed in the 
" scriptures^ yet they say a thing is good and lay hold of 
" it. They believe glorious things of heaven, and 
*' they live accoixlingly, as men that believe themselves. 
" What is the reason of this difference? They both read 
*' the scriptures ; they read and hear the same sermons ; 
" they have capable understandings ; they both believe 
" what they hear and what they read ; and yet the e^ent 
" is vastly different. The reason is that which I am now 
<' speaking of: the one understands by one principle, the 
^^ other by another; the one understands by nature, the 
*' other by grace ; the one by human learning, the other 
<< by DIVINE} the one reads the scriptures without, and 


" the other within ; the one understands as a son of man, 
" the other as a son of God; the one perceives by the 
" pro]X)rtions of the world, the other by the measures 
*' of the Spirit; the one understands by reason, the 
" other by love; and therefore he does not only under- 
" stand the sermons of the Spirit, and perceive their 
<' MEANING, but he pierces deeper, and knows the mean- 
" ing- of that meaning ; that is, the secret of the Spi- 
" RiT, that which is spiritually discerned, that which 
^' gives life to the proposition and activity to the soul- 
" And the reason is, that he hath a divine principle 
" within him, and a new understanding ; that is plainly, 
" he hath love, and that is more than knowledge, as 
" was rarely well observed by St. Paul. Knowledge 
" puffeth up ; but charity * edifieth ; that is, charity 
" maketh the best scholars. No sermons can build you 
^' up a holy building to God, unless the love of God be in 
" your hearts, and purify your souls from all filthiness 
" of the flesh and spirit. 

" A good life is the best way to understand wisdom 
" and religion, because, by the exfieriences and relishes 
" of religion, there is conveyed to them a sweetness to 
" which all wicked men are strangers. There is in the 
" things of God, to those who practise them, a delicious- 
" ness that makes us love them, and that love admits us 
'^ into God's cabinet, and strangely clarifies the under - 
*' standing by the pMriJication of the heart. For when 
" our reason is raised up by the Spirit of Christ, it is 
" turned quickly into experience; when our faith re-- 
" lies upon the principles of Christ, it is changed into 
<^ vision; and so long as we know God only in the ways 
" of men, by contentious learning, by arguing and dis- 
<^ pute, we see nothing but the shadow of him, and in 
<' that shadow we meet with many dark appearances, 

* Ayat^jj— Love of God. 


" little certainty, and much conjecture; but when we 
*' know him Xoyco otTFo^otvrtKu^ yotMv^ voi^iky with the eyes 
" of holiness and the instruction of gracious experiences, 
*< with a quiet spirit and the peace of enjoyment, t/ien 
" we shall hear what we never heard, and see what our 
^' eyes never saw; then the mysteries of Godliness shall 
" be open unto us, and clear as the windows of the 
" morning; and this is rarely well expressed by the 
" apostle. '' If we stand up from the dead and awake 
" from sleep, then Christ shall give us light." 

" For though the scriptures themselves are Avritten 
" by the Spirit of God, yet they are written within and 
<^ without; and besides the light that shines upon the 
^' face of them, unless there be a light shilling within our 
<' hearts^ unfolding the leaves, and interpreting the mys- 
^^ terious sense of the Spirit, convincing our consciences 
" and preaching to our hearts ; to look for Christ in the 
^' leaves of the gospel, is to look for the living among 
" the dead. There is a life in them ; but that life is, 
" according to St. Paul's expression, hid with Christ in 
*' God, and unless the spirit of God draw it forth, ive 
^' shall not be able. 

" Human learning brings excellent ministeries to- 
^^ wards this: it is admirably useful for the reproof of 
" heresies, for the detection of fallacies, for the letter 
" of the scriptures, for collateral testimonies^ for exterior 
" advantages; but there is something beyond this, that 
" human learning without the addition of divine can 
" never reach. 

" A good man, though unlearned in secular know* 
" ledge, is like the windows of the temple, narrow with- 
" out and broad within ; he sees not so much of what 
" profits not abroad^ but whatsoever, is within^ and con- 
" cerns religion and the glorifications of God, that he 
*' sees with a broad inspection ; but all human learning 
^' without God is but blindness and folly. One man 


" discourses of the sacrament, another receives Christ ; 
" one discourses for or against transubstantiation ; but 
" the good man feeis himself to be changed, and so 
" joined to Christ, that he only understands the true 
<' sense of transubstantiation while he becomes to Christ 
" bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh, c^nd of the same 
" spirit with his Lord. 

<^ From holiness we have the best instruction. For 
" that which we are taught by the Holy Spirit of God, 
" this new nature, this vital principle Vv'ithin us, it is that 
" which is worth our learning: not vain and empty, idle 
'' and insignificant notions, in which, when you have 
" laboured till your eyes are fixed in their orbs, and your 
" flesh unfixed from its bones, you are no better and no 
" wiser. If the Spirit of God be your teacher, he will 
" teach you such truths as will make you know and love 
*' God, and become like to him, and enjoy him forever, 
" by passing from similitude to union and eternal fruition. 

^' Too many scholars have lived upon air and empty 
" notions for many ages past, and troubled themselves 
" with tying and untying knots, like hypochondriacs in 
" a fit of melancholy, thinking of nothings, and troub- 
" ling themselves with nothings, and falling out about 
" nothings, and being very wise and very learned in 
" things that are not, and work not, and were never 
<* planted in Paradise by the fi^nger of God. If the Spi- 
" rit of God be our teacher, we shall learn to avoid evil 
" and to do good, to be wise and to be holy, to be pro- 
" fitable and careful ; and they that walk in this way shall 
" find more peace in their consciences, more skill in 
" THE SCRIPTURES, moresatisfaction in theirdoubts, than 
" can be obtained by all the polemical and impertinent 
" disputations of the world. The .yaan that is wise, he 
" that is conducted by the Spirit of God, knows better 
" in what Christ's kingdom doth consiiit than to throw 
<^ away his time and interest, his peace and safety, for 


" what? for religion? no: for the body of religion? not 
" so much : for the garment of the body of religion ? no, 
" not for so much : but for the friyiges of the garment 
" of the body of religion ; for such, and no better, are 
*^ many religious disputes; things, or rather circum- 
" stances and manners of things, in which the soul and 
" spirit are not at all concerned. The knowledge which 
" comes from godliness is ^non^ov rt 'Kota-n^ ctTroht^iMgy 
" something more certain and divine than all demon- 
^' stration and human learning. 

" And now to conclude : — to you I speak, fathers and 
" brethren, you who are or intend to be of the clergy ; 
" you see here the best compendium of your studies, the 
" best alleviation of your labours, the truest method of 
" wisdom- It is not by reading multitudes of books, 
" but by studying the truth of God; it is not by labori- 
*' ous commentaries of the doctors that you can finish your 
" work, but the exposition of the Spirit of God ; it is not 
" by the rules of metaphysics, but by the proportions of 
^' holiness ; and when all books are read, and all argu- 
" ments examined, and all authorities alledged, nothing 
*' can be found to be true that is unholy. The learning 
<' of the fathers was more owing to their piety than their 
" skill, more to God than to themselves. These were 
" the men that prevailed against error, because they 
" lived according to truth. If ye walk in light, and live 
<' in the spirit, your doctrines will be true, and that 
<' truth will prevail. 

" I pray God to give you all grace to follow this wis- 
" dom, to study this learning, to labour for the under- 
" standing of godliness; so your time and your studies, 
" your persons and your labours, will be holy and use- 
" ful, sanctiiied ancLblessed, beneficial to men and pleas- 
" ing to God, through him who is the wisdom of the 
*< Father, who is made to all that love him, wisdom, and 
^' righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.*' 


Will any one among our living theologists controvert 
the merits of Bishop Taylor? Is there one whom the 
public judgment will place on an equality with him? 
Will any one stigmatize him as an ignorant enthusiast? 
His strength of understanding and powers of reasoning 
are strikingly exhibited in liis Ductor dubitantium^ in his 
Liberty of Jirophesying^ and in his polemical writings. I 
must conclude, that he understood the Christian religion 
better than most of the sons of men ; because, to abili- 
ties of the very first rank, he united in himself the finest 
feelings of devotion. His authority must have weight 
with all serious and humble inquirers into the subject of 
Christianity, and his authority strongly and repeatedly 
inculcates the opinion which I wish to maintain, that 
the best evidence of the truth of our religion is derived 
from the operation of the Holy Spirit on every heart 
which is disposed to receive it. 

And I wish it to be duly attended to, that the discourse 
from which the above extracts are made, was not ad- 
dressed to a popular assembly, but to the clergy of an 
university, and at a solemn visitation. The Bishop evi- 
dently wished that the doctrines which he taught might 
be disseminated among the people by the parochial cler- 
gy. They were disseminated; and in consequence of 
it, Christianity flourished. They must be again dissemi- 
nated by the Bishops and all parochial clergy, if they 
sincerely wish to check the progress of infidelity. The 
minds of men must be impressed with the sense of an 
influential divinity in the Christian religion, or they 
will reject it for the morality of Socrates, Seneca, the 
modern philosophers, and all those plausible reasoners, 
to whom this world and the things which are seen are the 
chief objects of attention. The old divines taught and 
preached with wonderful efficacy, because they spoke as 
men having authority from the Holy Ghost, and not as 
the disputers of this world, proud gf a little science ac- 


quired from heathen writers in the cloisters of an acade- 
my. There was a celestial glory diiTused around the 
pulpits of the old divines ; and the hearers, struck with 
veneration, listened to the preacher as to an undoubted 
oracle. Full of grace were his lips; and lyioral truth 
was beautifully illuminated by divine* She easily won 
and firmly fixed the affections of men, clothed, as she 
was, with light as with a garment. 


Passages fi^om the celebrated Mr. John Smith, Fellow of 
Queen's College^ Cambridge^ corroborative of the Opinion 
that the best Evidence of the Christian Religion arisen 
from the Energy of the Holy Spirit"^, 


' 1 VINE truth is not to be discerned so much 
" in a man's brain as in his heart. There is a divine 
" and spiritual sense which alone is able to converse in- 
" ternally with the life and soul of divine truth, as mix- 
" ing and uniting itself with it ; while vulgar minds be- 
" hold only the body and outside of it. Though in itself 
" it be most intelligible, and such as the human mind 
" may most easily apprehend, yet there is an incrus- 
" T ATI ON, as the Hebrew t writers call it, upon all cor- 
" rupt minds, which hinders the lively taste and relish 
" of it. 

^' The best acquaintance with religion is a know- 
^^ LEDGE TAUGHT OF GoD^:: it is a light vi'iiich de- 
" scends from heaven, which alone is able to guide and 
<' conduct the souls of men to that heaven whence it 

♦ See his Select Discourses. 
■ f Incrustamentum inimutiditiei'^An incrustation of filth. 


" comes. The Christian religion is an injBux from God 
<' upon the minds of good men ; and the great design of 
*^ the gospel is to unite human nature to divinity. 

^^ The gospel is a mighty efflux and emanation of life 
*^ and spirit, freely issuing forth from an omnipotent 
" source of grace and love ; that godlike, vital influence, 
" by which the Divinity derives itself into the souls of 
" men, enlivening and transfoniiing them into its own 
" likeness, and strongly imprinting upon them a copy of 
*' its own beauty and goodness : like the spiritual virtue 
" of the heavens, which spreads itself freely upon the 
" lower world, and subtilely insinuating itself into this 
" benumbed, feeble, earthly matter, begets life and mo- 
" tion in it ; briefly, it is that whereby God comes to 
" dwell in us, and we in him. 

" The apostle calls the law, the ministration of the 
" letter and of death, it being in itself but a dead letter, 
" as all that which is without a man's soul must be ; but 
" on the other side, he calls the gospel, because of the 
" intrinsical and vital administration of it in living im- 
^' pressions upon the souls of men, the ministration of the 
" spirit J and the ministration of righteousness ; by which 
" he cannot mean the history of the gospel, or those 
" CREDENDA propouttdcd to US to bclieve ; for this would 
" make the gospel itself as much an external thing as 
" the law was ; and so we see that the preaching of 
" Christ crucified was to the Jews a stumbling Mock ^ and 
« to the Greeks foolishness. But indeed he means a 
" VITAL EFFLUX from God upon the souls of men, 
" whereby they are made partakers of life and strength 
^' from him. 

" Though the history and outward communication of 
" the gospel to us in scrifitis is to be always acknowledged 
" as a special mercy and advantage, and certainly no less 
" privilege to the Christians, than it was to the Jews, to 
♦^ be the depositaries of the oracles of God, yet it is plain 


" that the apostle, where he compares the law and the 
« gospel, means something which is more than a piece 
" of book-learning, or an historical narration of the free 
" love of God, in the several contrivances of it for the 
" redemption of mankind, 

" The evangelical or new law is an efflux of life and 
« power from God himself, the original of life and 
« power, and produceth life wherever it comes; and to 
" this double dispensation of law and gospel does St. 
" Paul clearly refer, 2 Cor. iii. 3. You are the epistle 
« of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, 
<' but with the spirit of the living Goj>.—Mt in 
« tables of stone; which last words are a plain gloss upon 
" that mundane kind of administering the law, in a mere 
" external way, to which he opposeth the gospel. 

" The gospel is not so much a system and body of 
" saving divinity, as the spirit and vital influence of it 
<' spreading itself over all the powers of men^s souls, and 
" quickening them into a divine life; it is not so pro- 
^' perly a doctrine that is wrapt in ink and paper, as it 
« isviTALis sciENTiA, a Uviug imprcssiou made ou the 
" soul and spirit. The gospel does not so much con- 
" sist in verbis as in virtute ; in the written word, as in 
" an internal energy." 

He who wishes to have an adequate idea of this pro- 
found scholar and most excellent man, will find a pleas- 
ing account of him in Bishop Patrick's sermon at his 
funeral, subjoined to the Select Discourses, which 
abound with beautiful passages, illustrative of the true 
Christian philosophy. 



Dr. Isaac Barrow's Otiinion of the Evidence of Christi' 
unity ^ afforded by the ilhiminating Ofieration of the Holy 
Sfiirit; and on the Holy Sjiirit in general, 

" \J UR reason is shut up, and barred with va- 
'' rious appetite35 humours, and passions against gospel 
" truths; nor can we admit them into our hearts, except 
^' God, by his spirit, do set op.en our mind, and work a 
'' free passage for them into us. It is he who com- 
" manded the light to shine out of darkness, that must, 
" as St. Paul speaketh, illustrate our hearts with the knovj^ 
" ledge of these things. An unction from the Holy One> 
'' clearing our eyes, softening our hearts, healing our 
" distempered faculties, must, as St. John informeth us, 
" TEACH and persuade us this sort of truths. A hearty 
^' belief of these seemingly incredible propositions must 
" indeed be, as St. Paul calleth it, the gift of God, pro- 
" ceeding from that Spirit of faith whereof the same 
" apostle speaketh; such faith is not, as St. Basil saith, 
*' engendered by geometrical necessities^ but by the ef- 
" fectual operations of the Holy Ghost. Flesh and 
" blood will not reveal to us, nor can any man with 
" clear confidence say that Jesus is the Lord (the Mes- 
" siAS, the infallible Prophet, the universal Lawgiver, 
" the Son of the living God) but by the Holy Ghost. 
" Every spirit which sincerely confesseth him to be the 
" Christ, we may, with St. John, safely conclude to be 
" of God; for of ourselves we are not sufficient, as the 
" apostle says, XoyiZ^icr^oci n^ to reason out or collect any 
" of these things. We never, of our own accord, with- 
*' out DIVINE ATTRACTION^ should co?ne tmto Christ; that 
" is, should effectually consent unto and embrace his in- 
*' stitution, consisting of such unfilausible propositions 


*^ and precepts. Hardly would his own disciples, who 
f ' had so long enjoyed the light of his conversation and 
" instruction, admitted it, if he had not granted them 
" that Sfiirit of truths whose work it was oS>jyg;F, to lead 
" them in this unknown and uncouth way ; otmy[iXXuv to 
" tell them again and again, that is, to instil and incul- 
" cate these crabbed truths upon them; vTrd/^t/Ltvyio-y^iiv, to 
" admonish, excite, and urge them to the marking and 
" minding them ; hardly, I say, without the guidance of 
" this Spirit, would our Lord's disciples have admitted 
" divers evang-elical truths, as our Lord himself told 
" them. I have, said he, many things beside to say to 
*' you, but ye cannot as yet bear them ; but when he, the 
" Spirit of truth, shall come, he shall conduct you into 


" As for the mighty sages of the world, the learned 
^^ scribes, the subtle disputers, the deep politicians, the 
" wise men according to the flesh, the men of most re- 
" fined judgment and imfiroved reason in the world's 
" eye, they were more ready to deride than to regard, 
" to impugn than to admit these doctrines; to the 
" Greeks, who sought wisdom, the preaching of them 
" seemed foolishness. 

" It is true, some few sparks or flashes of this divine 
" knovvledge may possibly be driven out by rational con- 
" sideration. Philosophy may yield some twilight glim- 
'^ merings thereof. Common reason may dictate a faint 
" consent unto, may produce a cold tendency after some 
^'- of these things ; but a clear perception^ and a resolute 
'' persuasion of mind, that full assurance of faith and in- 
" flexible confession of hope o^oAoy^at tjj? iXTrt^dg ujcXtvYHy 
" which the apostle to the Hebrews speaks of, that full 
" assurance of understanding, that abundant knowledge 
" of the divine will in all spiritual wisdom and under- 
" standing, with which St. Paul did pray that his Colos- 
" sians might be replenished; these so perfect iUustra- 


" tions of the mind, so powerful convictions of the heart, 
" do argue immediate influences from the Fountain of life 
" and wisdom, the divine Spirit. No external in- 
" struction could infuse, no interior discourse could ex- 
" cite them; could penetrate these opacities -of igno- 
" ranee, and dissipate these thick mists of prejudice, 
" wherein nature and custom do involve us; could so 
" thoroughly awaken the lethargic stupidity of our souls; 
" could supple the refractory stiffness of our wills; could 
" mollify the stony hardness of our hearts; could void 
'' our natural aversion to such things, and quell that 
" (p^oy/i/^u, (rai^y.6^^ that carnal mind, which, St. Paul says, is 
" enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, 
" neither indeed can be ; could depress those wJ/^^^ctT^, 
'' those lofty towers of self-conceit, reared against the 
'' knowledge of God, and demolish those oy^v^o}(zoi,^ci^ 
" those bulwarks of self-will and perverse stomach, op- 
" posed against the impressions of divine faith, and cap- 
" tivate TToiv voij^cft, every conceit and device of ours to 
'' the obedience of Christ and his discipline. Well, 
^' therefore, did St. Paul pray m behalf of his Ephesians, 
" that God would bestow on them the Spirit of wis- 
" dom and revelation in the acknowledgment of him, 
" and that the eyes of their mind might be enlightened, 
* so as to know the hope of their calling; that is, to un- 
*' derstand and believe the doctrines of Clinstianity.**** 
" We proceed now to the peculiar offices, functions, 
" and operations of the Holy Spirit: Many such there 
" are in an especial manner attributed or appropriated 
" to him; which, as they respect God, seem reducible 
" to two general ones: the declaration of God's mind, 
" and the execution of his will; as they are referred to 
" man, (for in regard to other beings, the scripture doth 
" not so much consider what he performs, it not concern- 
" ing us to know it J are especially the producing in us 
" all actions requisite or conducible to our eternal luippi- 

£ 2 


^^ ness and salvation ; to which may be added, the inter- 
*^ cession between God and man, which jointly respect 
" both. 

" First, it is his especial work to disclose God*s mind 
" to us ; whence he is styled the Sfiirit of truths the Sfii- 
^^ rit of firofihecy^ the S/iirit of revelation; for that all 
*' supernatural light and wisdom have ever proceeded 
^' from him. He instructed all the prophets that have 
" been since the world began^ to know, he enabled them 
" to speak^ the mind of God concerning things present 
" and future. Holy men (that have taught men their 
" duty, and led them in the way to bliss) were but his 
" instruments speaking as they were moved by the Holy 
^« Ghost. 

" By his inspiration the holy scriptures (the most full 
" and certain witness of God's mind, the law and testi- 
" mony by which our life is to be directed and regulated) 
** were conceived. He guided the apostles in all truthj 
" and by them instructed the world in the knowledge of 
^ God's gracious intentions towards mankind, and in all 
'^ the holy mysteries of the gospel : That which in other 
^' ages was not made known unto the sons of meriy as it is 
*' now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the 
** Spirit. Eye hath not seen^ nor ear heard^ neither have 
" entered into the heart ofman^ the things which God hath 
^^ prepiaredfor them that love him; but God hath revealed 
" them to us by his Spirit^ saith St. Paul. jIU the knoiv- 
" LEDGE we can pretend to in these things doth proceed 
" merely from his revelation^ doth wholly rely upon his 
" authority. 

" To him it especially belongs to execute the will of 
" God, in matters transcending the ordinary power and 
" course of nature. Whence he is called the power of 
" the Most High^ (that is, the substantial power and vir- 
" tue of God,) the finger of God (as by comparing the 
" expression of St. Luke and St. Matthew may appear) ; 


^^ and whatever eminent God hath designed, he is said 
" to have performed by him; by him he framed the 
" world, and (as Job speaketh) garnished the heavens. 
" By him he governeth the world, so that all extraordi- 
*' nary works of Providence, (when God, beside the com- 
" mon law and usual course of nature, doth interpose to 
^' do any thing,) all miraculous performances are attri- 
" buted to his energy. By him our Saviour, by him 
" the apostles, by him the prophets, are expressly said 
" to perform their wonderful works ; but especially by 
" him God manages that great work, so earnestly de- 
" signed by him, of our salvation; working in us all 
" good dispositions, capacifying us for salvation, direct- 
^' ing and assisting us in all our actions tending thereto. 
" We naturally are void of those good dispositions in 
*^ understanding, will, and affections which are needful 
" to render us acceptable unto God, fit to serve and 
" please him, capable of any favour from him, of any 
*' true happiness in ourselves. Our minds naturally 
" are blind, ignorant, stupid, giddy, and prone to error, 
*^ especially in things supernatural and spiritual, and ab- 
*• stracted from ordinary sense. Our wills are froward 
" and stubborn, light and unstable, inclining to evil, and 
" averse from what is truly good ; our affections are very 
" irregular, disorderly, and unsettled ; to remove which 
^^ bad dispositions, (inconsistent with God's friendship 
" and favour, driving us into sin and misery,) and to 
" beget those contrary to them, the knowledge and 
" belief of divine truth, a love of goodness and delight 
" therein ; a well composed, orderly, and steady frame 
" or spirit, God in mercy doth grant to us the virtue of 
" his Holy Spirit ; who first opening our hearts^ so as to 
" let in and apprehend the light of divine truth, then, 
" by representation of proper arguments, persuading 
" our reason to embrace it, begetteth divine knowledge, 
" wisdom, and faith in our minds, which is the work of 


"illumination and instruction, the first part of his office 
" respecting our salvation, 

" Then by continual impressions he bendeth our in- 
" clinations, and moUifieth our hearts, and tempereth 
" our affections to a willing compliance with God's will, 
" and a hearty complacence in that which is good and 
" pleasing to God; so breeding all pious and virtuous 
*' inclinations in us, reverence towards God, charity to 
" men, sobriety and purity as to ourselves, with the rest 
" of those amiable and heavenly virtues of soul, which 
'' is the work of sanctification, another great part of his 
^' office. 

" Both these operations together (enlightening our 
" minds, sanctifying our wills and affi^ctions) do consti- 
" tute and accomplish that work, which is styled the 
" regeneration, renovation, vivification, new creation, 
" resurrection of a man; the faculties of our souls being 
" so improved, that we become, as is were, other men 
" thereby ; able and apt to do that for which before we 
" were altogether indisposed and unfit. 

" He also directeth and governeth our actions, con- 
" tinually leading and moving us in the ways of obedi- 
" ence to God's holy will and law. As we live by him, 
" (having a new spiritual life implanted in us,) so we 
" ivalk by him^ are continually led and acted by his con- 
" duct and help. He reclaimeth us from error and sin ; 
" he supporteth and strengtheneth us in temptation; he 
" adviseth and admonisheth, exciteth and encourageih 
" us to all works of piety and virtue. 

" Particularly he guideth and quickeneth us in devo- 
*' tion, shewing us what we should ask, raising in us holy 
" desires and comfortable hopes, disposing us to ap- 
" pmach unto God with firm dispositions of mind, love, 
" and reverence, and humble confidence. 

" It is also a notable part of the Holy Spirit's office to 
" comfort and sustain us in all our religious practice, so 


" particularly in our doubts, difficulties, distresses, and 
*' afflictions; to beget joy, peace, and satisfaction in us, 
" in all our performances, and in all our sufferings, 
<* whence the title of Comforter belongeth to him. 

^'^t is also another part thereof to assure us of God's 
" gracious love and favour, and that we are his children ; 
" confirming in us the hopes of our everlasting inheri- 
" tance. We feeling ourselves to live spiritually by him, 
" to love God and goodness, to thirst after righteousness, 
" and to delight in pleasing God, are thereby raised to 
" hope God loves and favours us; and that he having, 
" by so authentic a seal, ratified his word and promise, 
*' having already bestowed so sure a pledge, so precious 
" an earnest, so plentiful first-fruits, v^^ill not fail to 
^' make good the remainder designed and promised us, 
" of everlasting joy and bliss.'* 

Let no man be afraid or ashamed of maintaining 
opinions on the divine energy^ which are thus supported 
by the first of scholars and philosophers, Isaac Bar- 


Bishofi Bull's Oftinion on the Evidence of the Spirit of 
God on the Mind of Man^ and its Union vjith it ; the 
loss of that Spirit by Adam's Fall^ and the Recovery of 
it by Christy 

" A HE second way," says Bishop Bull, " by 
" which the Spirit of God witnesseth with our spirit, 
" that w^e are the sons of God, is by enlightening our 
" understandings, and strengthening the eyes of our 
" minds, as occasion requires, to discern those gracious 
*' fruits and eftects which God hath wrought in us. 


" The Spirit of God, which in the first beginning of 
" things moved upon the face of the great deep, and in- 
" vigo rated the chaos, or dark and confused heap of 
" things, and caused light to shine out of that darkness, 
" can, with the greatest ease, when he pleases, cause 
" the light of divine consolation to arise and shine upon 
" the dark and disconsolate soul. And this he often 
" doth. I iTiay here appeal to the experience of 
" many good Christians, who sometimes find a sudden 
" joy coming into their minds, enlightening their 
" understandings, dispelling all clouds from thence, 
" warming and enlivening their affections, and enabling 
" them to discern the graces of God shining in their 
'^ brightness, and to feel them vigorously acting in 
" their souls, so that they have been, after a sort, 
" transfigured with their Saviour, and wished, with 
" St. Peter, that they might always dwell on that mount 
" Tabor.**** 

" Man may be considered in a double relation ; first 
" in relation to ihQnatiiral^ animal^ and earthly life; and 
" so he is a perfect man, that hath only a reasoimhle soul 
'' and body adapted to it; for the powers and faculties 
" of these are sufficient to the exercise of the functions 
^' and operations belonging to such a life. But secondly, 
" man may be considered in order to a suheriiatural end, 
" and as designed to a spiritual and celestial life; and of 
" this life the Spirit of God is the principle. For 
** man's natural powers and faculties, even as they were 
" before the fall, entire, were not sufficient or able 
" of themselves to reach such a supernatural end, but 
" needed the power of the divine Spirit to strengthen, 
'' elevate, and raise them. He that denies this, opposes 
*< himself against the stream and current of the holy 
*' scriptures, and the consent of the Catholic church. 
" Therefore to the perfect constitution of man, consi- 
*< dered in this relation, a reasonable soul and a body 


*^ adapted thereunto are not sufficient; but there is ne- 
*' cessarily required an union of the divine Spirit with 
" both, as it were a third essential principle. 
" This, as it is a certain truth, so it is a gteat mystery 
" OF Christianity.**** 

" The great Basil, in his homily intitled. Quod Deiis 
" non est Author p^eccati^ speaking of the nature of man, 
*^ as it was at first created, hath these words: * What 
" was the chief or princifial good it enjoyed? The asses- 
" sioN OF God and it's conjunction with him bt love; 
^^ from which^ when it felly it became defiraved with vaH- 
" ous and manifold evils. So in his book, de Sfiiritu 
<^ SanctOy cafi. 15, he plainly tells us, t 'I'he dispensation 
" of God and our Saviour towards man^ is but the recall- 
" ing of him from the fall ^ and his return into the friend- 
'' shifi of that God^ from that alienation which sin had 
*' caused. This was the end of Christ's coming in the 
^'fleshy of his life and conversatioii described in the gos- 
^' P^h ^f ^^^ passion^ cross j burial^ and resurrection ; that 
^' man^ who is saved by the imitation of Christy might re- 
" gain that antient adoption. Where he plainly sup- 
" poseth that man before his fall had the adoption of a 
" son, and consequently the Spirit of adoption. And 
" so he expressly interprets himself afterwards in the 

'' Xoi^ f^ TToXvl^QTroi^ <*pp<y^}i,wflt<7<y Ix^xKaBvi,'" 

t " H rov S"g8 f^ coflvi^^ p}^u6jy 7r&^t tov c&v&^sitTroy otKovouiciy 
^' uvuycXfitrU i-ftv utto rvig licvfloKneaqy >^ l7rdvod(^ g/j oiKiiLao-iv 
'^ ^-gS, oiTHi t3? Stflt T^y TffocpotKOviv yivo^lvYi^ ocXXol^tacnax;' ^tu, 
" tSto, « f^ira, troc^jcog iTiri^n^toc X^<^S* « rm ivoiy[iXiK&)y -zs-oXt- 
^'liVfzoiTOjy vTTolvTraortg* tu ttuH' o ^oiv^og' n rx(pyi* i oiva^ccjigy 


" same chapter: By the * Holy Spirit we are restored 
" into paradise^ we regain the kingdom of heaven^ we re- 
" turn to the adoption of sons, Again, (HomiU advers. 
'^ Eunonnum 5, p. 117.J which have these express 
" words : f ^^^ ^^^ called in the sanctifcation of the S/ii- 
" rit^ as the apostle teacheth. This (Spirit) renews tcSj 
'^ and makes us again the image of God^ and by the lover 
^^ of regeneration^ and the renewing of the Holy Ghost ^ we 
<^ are adopted to the Lord, and the new creature again 
^' partakes of the Sfiirit^ of which being deprived^ it had 
^' waxed old* And thus man becomes again the image of 
^' God^ who had fallen from the divine similitude ^ and was 
'' become like the beasts that perish, 

" St. Cyril (rth Dial, de Tnn. p. 653.) delivers the 
^' same doctrine with great perspicuity and elegancy, 
" in these words \ For %vhen the animal (viz. man) had ■ 

" i ih j^ecfTiXiieLi k^xv&iv ^yoSi^^' >! iU vioh<rict> iTrcivG^^, Vide 
" ejusdem Libri^ cap. 9." 

^' kyia vUhriifAi&sc jcv^ioi* KXivij -xeiXiv kIUi^ fHilxXcf/^Zoivacx 

\ " AiccviviVKor<^ yag t5 ^dn 73-^og to ^yjj^^jjXs^, >^ rh 
'' ilgzirotYirov u/xot^ixv Ik tjJ? itird^ctv ^tXoa-x^Ktocg ^pp^/^jixoT©", 

" TO ZS-pog B'iiXV ilTCOVOt. dtXfLCO^^Sv XVTOVy 9^ CYlf^dvl ^H S/xj^V UTTC^-- 

^' UKocXXlg^ >^ t/ yot^ >s^i rm Iktotfuv crvyiiXc^og ayx7rs(pc6VTce,ii 
^' ItciI %l rm oXav yivictn^yog ccvxKout^itv ihXm itg ii^XiorrHoc^ 
" }^ IvKoa-fiiccv tJv Iv u^)^ct7g ra ^ioXia-B-'iio'xv t'lg ^p^o^dy^ ^x^d^ 
^' (TJj^avTg, y^ dx.xXX\g iid tjjf Uffxoinlov yifovog uf^x^ixv^ IvKKif 
*' »v&tq xiroti TO ^To^o<TSo"flf y 'ttoIi ^{tcv Tg; >^ dytov trnv^x^ ^sl- 


*^ turned aside unto ivickedness^ and out of too much love 
" of the flesh had superinduced on himself the disease of 


" came corruptible and deformed, and every nvay vicious. 
" But after that the Creator of the universe had designed 
*' to restore to its firistine firmness and beauty that which 
*^ was fallen into corruption, and was become adulterated 
" and deformed by sin superinduced, he sent again into it 
*' that divine and holy Spirit which was withdrawn from 
" it, and which hath a natural aptitude andpotver to change 
" us into the celestial image, viz. by transforming us into 
<' his own like7iess. And in the fourth book of the same 
^' work, * When the only begotten Son was made man, find* 
*' ing man's nature bereft of its antient and primitive goody 
" he hastened to transform it again into the same state, out 
<' of the fountain of his fulness, sending forth (the Spirit), 
" and saying, Receive The Holt Ghost. 

" yci(Zivov }iu ro tt^c? tiiecv if^ug /^(Ixp^v&f^ct^uv l^(pg^g;tf«y." 

* " 'Org yiyovev iiy^^<y;T(^ o f^ovcyiviig, i^ii/xviv rS TroiXoct, j^ 
" |y u^x^ocig uyscd^ tjjv uv6^a7ng (pvcriv ev^av, -sfuXtv ocvrhv g/f 
" iKiivo f/^dx^oi^iiiv *}7Fiiyi\6, kolQutti^ utto TTViyvig rov <3/» zfX- 
" ^cifx,otl^ hkih Tg >^ Xiyatr XotZiii TTVivfcx aytov.** 

St. Cyril. 



The bfiinion9 of JBishofi Pearson and Doctor Scott, Author 
of the Christian Life^ and an Advocate for natural Re* 
iigion^ against sfiiritnal Pretensions^ 

JLJISHOP Pearson is in the highest esteem as a 
3ivine. His book on the Creed is recommended by tu- 
tors, by Bishops' chaplains, and by Bishops, to young 
students in the course of their reading preparatory to 
to holy orders. It has been most accurately cxatnined 
and universally approved by the most, eminent the- 
blogues of our church, as an orthodox exposition of the 
Christian Creed. Let us hear him on the subject of 
the Spirit's evidence, which now engages oiir atten- 

" As the increase and perfection, so the original or 
*' initiation of faith is from the Spirit of God, not only 
" by an external proposal in the word, but by an 
" internal illumination in the soul, by which we 
*' are inclined to the obedience of faith, in assenting to 
" those truths which unto a natural and carnal man are 
" foolishness. And thus we affn-m not only the revela- 
" tion of the will of God, but also the illumination of the 
*' soul of manj to be part of the ollice of the Spirit of 
« God*." 

Dr. Scott, an orthodox divine, a zealous teacher of 
morality y celebrated for a book intitled the Christian Lifcy 
says, " That without the Holy Ghost we can do nothing ; 
*' that he is the AUTHOR and finisher of our faith, who 
" worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure. 
*' His first office is the informing of our minds with the 
" light of heavenly truth. Thus the apostle prays that 

* Bishop Pearson on the Creed, Art. 8. 


** the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glo- 
" ry., would give unto them the Spirit of wisdom and 
" revelation in the knowledge of him, that the eye^s 
" OF THEIR UNDERSTANDINGS being enlightened, they 
" might know what is the hope of Christ's calling*; an^ 
" we are told, that it is by receiving ^he Spirit oj^ 
" God, that we know the things that are freely given u^ 

" Now this illumination of the Spirit is twofold : first, 
" external, by that revelation which he hath given us of 
^' God's mind and will in the holy scripture, and tha,t 
" miraculous evidence by which he sealed and attested 
^' it;Jor all scrititure is given by inspiration of God\\ or, 
" as it is elsewhere expressed, was delivered by holy meuj 
'^ as they were moved by the Holy Ghost \\; and all thos(j 
" miraculous testimonies we have to the truth and di- 
" vinity of scripture are from the Holy Ghost, and, upon 
" that account, are called the demonstration of the Spirit \ 
" so that all the light we receive from scripture^ and all 
" the evidence we have that that light is divine, we de- 
" rive originally from the Holy Spirit. 

" But besides this external illumination of the Holy 
^^ Spirit, there is also an internal one,, which consists 
" in impressing that external light and evidence of scrip- 
" ture upon our understandings, whereby we are enabled 
^^ more clearly to apprehend^ and more effectually to be- 
'^ lieve it. 

" For though the divine Spirit doth not (at least in 
" the ordinary course of his operation) illuminate our 
" minds with any 7iew truths, or new evidences of truth, 
" but only presents to our minds those old and primitive 
" truths and evidences which he at first revealed and 
^' gave to the world; yet there is no doubt but he still 

* Ephes. i, 17, 18. t 1 Cor. ii. 12. 

\ 2 Tim. iii. 16. II 2 Pet. i. 21. 


" continues not only to suggest them both to our minds, 
*' but to urge and repeat them with that importunity, 
" and thereby to imprint them with that clearness and 
*' efficacy, as that if we do not, through a wicked preju- 
" dice against them, wilfully divert our minds from them 
" to vain or sinful objects, we must unavoidably appre- 
" hend them far more distinctly, and assent to them 
** far more cordially and effectually, than otherwise we 
*' should or could have done; for our minds are natu^ 
•' 7^ally so vain and stupid, so giddy, listless, and inad- 
'* vertent, especially in spiritual things, which are ab- 
'* stract from common sense, as that did not the Holy 
" Spirit frequently present, importunately urge, and 
" thereby fix these on our minds, our knowledge of 
^' them would be so confused^ and our belief so wavering 
" and unstable, as that they w^ould never have any pre* 
" venting influence on our wills and affections. So 
" that our knowledge and belief of divine things, so 
" far as they are saving and effectual to our renovation, 
^' are the fruits and products of this internal illumi* 
^« nation*," 


Opinion of Bishofi Sanderson on the Impossibility of be^ 
coming a Christian without supernatural Assistance^ 

"XT was Simon Magus's error to think that the 
" gift of God might be purchased with money; and it 
<' hath a spice of his sin, and so may go for a kind qf 
« simony, to think that spiritual gifts may be purchased 
« with labour. You may rise up early and go to bed 

* Scott*s Christian Life, part ii. chap. f. 


" late, and study hard, and read much, and devour the 
" marrow of the best authors, and when you have done 
*' all, unless God give a blessing unto your endeavours, 
" be as thin and meagre in regard of true and, yseful 
" learning,as Pharoh's* lean kine were after they had eaten 
" the fat ones. It is God that both ministereth seed to 
" the sower, and multiplieth the seed sown; the prinei- 
" pal and the increase are both his.'* 

" It is clear that all Christian virtues and graces, 
" though wrought immediately by us, and with the free 
" consent of our own wills, are yet the fruit of God's 
" Spirit working in us. That is to say, they do not pro- 
" ceed originally from any strength of nature, or any 
*^ inherent power in man's free will; nor ara they ac- 
" quired by the culture of philosophy, the advantages of 
" education, or any improvement whatsoever of natural 
" abilities by the helps of art or industry: but are in 
" truth the proper effects of that supernatural grace 
*^ which is given unto us by the good pleasure of God 
" the Father, merited for us by the precious blood o£ 
" God the Son, and conveyed into our hearts by the 
" sweet and secret inspirations of God the Holy Ghost. 
'^ Love, joy, and peace are fruits, not at all of the llesh, 
'' but merely of the Spirit. 

" All those very many passages in the New Testa- 
" ment which either set forth the unframableness of 
" our nature to the doing of any thing that is good, 
^» fnot thai we are sufficient of ourselves to think a good 
" thought ; in me^ that is 271 my Jlesh^ there dwelleth no good 
<« things ; and the like,) or else ascribe our best perform- 
" ances to the glory of the grace of God, (xvithout me 
*' you can do nothing. Ml our sufficiency is of God* JVot 
*' of yourselves ; it is the gift of God. It is God that 

'^ Genesis xli. 21. t 2 Cor. iii. 5. Romans, vii. 18. 

F 2 


" worketh in you both the will and deed*; and the like,) 
" are so many clear confirmations of the truth. Upon 
" the evidence of which truth it is that our mother the 
" church hath taught us in the public service to beg at 
" the hands of almighty God that he would endue ns 
'^ with the grace of his Holy Spirit^ to amend our lives 
" according to his holy word: and again, (consonantly to 
" the matter we are in hand with, almost in terininis^) 
" that he would give to all jnen increase of grace to hear 
" meekly his word^ and to receive it %vith pure affection^ 
" a7id to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit. As without 
" which grace it were not possible for us to amend our 
" lives, or to bring forth such fruits, according as God 
*^ requireth in his holy word. 

" And the reason is clear: because as the tree is such 
" must the fruit be. Do men look to gather grapes of 
" thoimsj or figs of thistles^ ; Or can they exj>ect from a 
" salt fountain other than brackish water I Certainly, 
" what is born of flesh can be no better than flesh. 
" Who can bring a clean thing out of that which is un- 
" clean I? Or how can any thing that is good proceed 
" from a hearty dllihe imaginations of the thoughts where- 
" of are only and continually evil\\P If we v/ould have the 
" fruit good, reason will (and our Saviour prescribeth 
" the same method) that order be taken, first to make 
'^ the tree good**. 

'' But you wdll say, it is impossible so to alter the 
'' nature of the flesh as to make it bring forth good spi- 
" ritual fruit; as it is to alter the nature of a crab or 
" thorn, so as to make it bring forth a pleasant apple. 
" Truly, and so it is : if you shall endeavour to mend 

" the fruit by altering the stock, you shall find the ia- 


* John, XV. r. 2 Cor. ill 5. Eph. ii, 8. Phil. ii. 15. 

•[• Mat. vii. 16. :j: Job, xiv. 4. || Gen. vi. 5. 

** James, i. 21. 


" hour altos^ether fruitless; — a crab will be a crab stiil, 
" when you have done what you can: and you may as 
" well hope to wash an Ethiopian white, as to purge 
" the flesh from sinful pollution. 

" The work tlierefore must be done quite another way : 
" not by alteration^ but addition. That is, leaving the 
" old principle to remain as it was, by superinducing 
" ab extra a new firmcifile^ of a different and more kindly 
" quality. We see the experiment of it daily in the 
" grafting of trees ; a crabstock, if it have a cion of some 
" delicate apple artfully grafted in it; look what branches 
" are suffered to grow out of the stock itself, they will 
" all follow the nature of the stock, and if they bring 
<^ forth any fruit at all, it will be sour and stiptic. But 
" the fruit that groweth from the graft will be pleasant 
" to the taste, because it folio welh the nature of the 
" graft. We read of "hoyoi^ if^(pv}cg, an engrafted word. 
" Our carnal hearts are the old stock; which, before the 
" word of God be grafted in it, cannot bring forth any 
<' spiritual fruit acceptable to God : but when, by the 
" powerful operation of his Holy Spirit, the word which 
" we hear with our ontward ears is inwardly grafted 
<' therein, it then bringeth forth the fruit of good living. 
^' So that ail the bad fruits that appear in our lives come 
" from the okl stock, the flesh : and if there be any good 
^' fruit of the Spirit in us, it is from the virtue of that 
^' word of grace that is grafted in us." 

What modern philosopher or divine can rival this 
great prelate ? His Fralectiones rank him with Aristotk i 
his piety, with the chief of the apostles. 



JBishoJi Smalridge on the absolute Necessity of Grace* 


.E who is not convinced of the absolute neces^ 
" sity of God's grace to invigorate his obedience to the 
" divine laws, must be a perfect stranger to himself, as 
" well as to the word of God ; and must have been as 
" careless an observer of what passes ^within his own 
" breast, as of what is written in the holy scriptures. 
" When one gives himself leisure to take a survey of 
" his own faculties, and observes how dark-sighted he is 
" in the percefitioii of divine truths; with what reluc- 
" tance he sometimes chuses what his understanding 
" plainly represents to him as good, and refuses what 
" his own conscience directly pronounces to be evil; 
" how apt his affections are to rebel against the dictates 
" of his reason, and to hurry him another way than he 
" knows he should, and in his sober mind, very fain 
" would go; when he sets before his thoughts the great 
" variety of duties commanded, and of sins forbidden, 
" and the perverseness of his own depraved nature, 
" which gives him an antipathy to those duties and a 
" strong inclination to those sins ; when he reflects on 
" the power and cunning of his spiritual enemies, always 
" alluring him to sin, and seducing him from the prac- 
" tice of virtue ; when he weighs with himself the neces- 
*' sity of practising every duty, and forsaking every kind of 
<« wickedness, in order to secure a good title to the pro- 
" mises of the gospel ; w^hen he takes a view of those 
" particular obstacles which hinder him in the exercise 
" of several graces, and of the strong temptations which 
" prompt him to the commission of several sins ; when 
" he considers the aptness of human nature to grow 
" weary of performing the same things, though in them- 


•' selves never so pleasant, and its still greater disposi- 
" tion to grow faint, when the actions continually to be 
** repeated are burdensome to flesh and blood; when he 
** compares the necessity of perseverance with the dif- 
" ficulty of it, the prevalence of things present and sen- 
*' sible with the w'eakness wherewith those objects 
" affect us that are absent and spiritual ; when, I say, a 
** considering man puts all these things together, he 
*' cannot but be convinced, that narrow is the path that 
*' leads unto everlasting life^ and that without illumi- 
'* NATION from the Spirit of God, he shall not be able 
** rightly to discern it; that strait is the gate which opens 
** an entry into heaven; and that he cannot, by the force of 
** his own natural strength, without new power given 
*' him from above, and the secret influences of God's 
** Holy Spirit, adding force and energy to his own en- 
** deavc^rs, force his way through it* Conscious, there- 
" fore, of his own weakness, he will acknowledge the 
'* necessity of God's grace; and being ready to sink 
*' through his own natural weight, unless supported by 
" foreign help, he will cry out with St. Peter, Save mcj 
** Lord, or else I/ierish. 

" Some philosophers of old flattered the pride and 
" vanity of men, by teaching them that they wanted 
** nothing to make them virtuous, but only a firm and 
*' steady resolution of being so; that this resolution they 
•* themselves were masters of, and might exert at their 
** own pleasure. They confidently boasted that their 
*' happiness was a thing wholly in their own power; 
** that they need not ^sk of the gods to be virtuous, nor 
** consequently to be happy, since they could be so with- 
** out their aid or concurrence, or even in despite of 
'* them. The Pelagians afterwards raised their here- 
" sies upon the principles which these heathen philoso- 
" phers had first broached ; they engaged in the quarrel 
*^ of depraved nature against divine grace : all our disor- 


" ders they would have to be the effects not of sin but of 
" nature ; all our evil inclinations seemed to them capa- 
" ble of being subdued by our own unassisted reason ; 
" and they did not think the succour of any supernatu^ 
^' ral grace necessary either for the combating of vice, or 
" the maintenance of their integrity and virtue. But the 
" sober Christian hath learned from the scriptures to 
" speak and to think more humbly of himself, and more 
<^ becomingly and magnificently of God ; we are there 
*' taught that ive are not sufficient of oicrselves to think^ 
*' much less to do, any thing as of ourselves^ but that our 
" sufficiency is of God; that it is Gody which vjorketh 
^' nvithin us both to will and to do of his good filcasurc ; 
*' that it is by the Spirit we must mortify the deeds of the 
" body^ if we would live; that it is God, who, by his Spi- 
" rit, makes us perfect in every good work to do his will^ 
f' working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight* 
^^ The humble and devout Christian being thus satisfied 
;*^ of the necessity of God's grace, both from his own 
^^ <e;xperience and from the scriptures, and being assured 
" of the VITAL INFLUENCES of this spiHt from the pro- 
" niises made to him in the gospel, will not be over-cu- 
*' rious to inquire into the secret and inconceivable man- 
'" ner of its operation. He will choose rather to feel 
'" these influences, than to understand or explain them, 
" and will not doubt of that power, which, though he 
" cannot give an account of as to the manner of its 
*' working, he plainly perceives to be great and marvel- 
" lous from its mighty and wonderful effects : for when, 
." in reading the holy scriptures, he finds the veil of dark* 
" ness removed from before his underst'anding ; when 
" those clouds of ignorance that had overcast his mind, are 
" presently dispersed; when the doubts under which he 
" had for some time laboured are on a sudden cleared ; 
;" when such pious thoughts as were wont to pass tran- 
." siently are long dwelt upon, so as to leave behind them 


*^ deep and lasting impressions; when these arc sug- 
*' gested to him without his seeking, and are urged and 
" pressed upon him so importunately, that he cannot 
" choose but listen unto them; when, from a calm and 
" serious consideration of the state of his own soul, the 
^^ odiousness and danger of sin, the beauty and necessi- 
" ty of holiness, he is led to make good and pious resolu- 
" tions of serving God with greater purity for the time 
" to come ; when he finds a sudden impulse upon his spi- 
" rits, rouzing him up to the performance of some im- 
^' portant duty which he had before neglected; or an 
*' unexpected check, stopping him in the midst of his 
" course, when he is rushing on blindly and impetu- 
<^ ously to the commission of some heinous sin ; when 
*' in his devotions he finds his attention fixed^ his affec^ 
*' tions inflamed^ and his heart melted within him; when, 
" while the voice of God's minister preaching the saving 
" truths of the gospel sounds in his ears, he is sensible 
" of an INWARD VOICE speaking with greater force and 
" efQcacy to his soul, to his understanding, and to his 
" heart: when, under the pressure of any grievous af- 
" fliction, he feels unexpected joy and comfort: w^hen 
" light rises ufi in the midst of darkness ; when there is 
a gixien unto him beauty for ashes^ the oil of joy for moum^ 
*' ing^ the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; 
" upon all these and the like occasions he is sensible of 
" the presence and aid of God's Holy Spirit, whose 
" grace alone is sufficient to all these purposes, and 
** whose strength is thus 7nade perfect in his weakness. 

" How the operation of God's Holy Spirit is consistent 
" with the freedom of our own wills; how far we are 
*^ passive and how far active in those good thoughts, 
" words, and works, which are wrought in us by the 
'^' influence of this Holy Spirit, the practical Christian 
" doth not much trouble himself to inquire. Whatso- 
" ever is good in him, that he devoutly ascribes not unto 


" himself, but unto the grace of God which was afforded 
*' him ; O Lordy not unto me, but unto thy name be the 
" glory; or having by his former sins justly merited to 
" be left destitute and forsaken ; in the latter case he is as 
" ready to make Daniel's humble acknowledgment; O 
'' I^ordy righteousness belongeth unto thee^ but unto me con- 
^'fusion of face. He will leave it to others to dis/iute 
" about the nature, extent, and efficacy of this grace, 
" and will make it his own chief labour to obtain, to 
^' cherish, and to improve it; he strives, according to 
" the best of his judgment, to form right notions of its 
" efficacy, but he is still more solicitous that no mis- 
" takes in his opinions about it may have any dan- 
" gerous influences upon his practice. He cannot be 
" very wrong in his notions, whilst he believes that man's 
" will is neither so free, as without God's grace to do 
" good, nor so enslaved, as not to be at liberty either to 
'^ concur with or to resist that grace ; but whether these 
" notions about a matter so intricate be exactly right or 
" not, he is fully assured that he cannot be mistaken in 
" his measures of acting, if he exerts his own endeavours 
" with as much vigour and earnestness, as if by them 
" alone he were finally to stand or fall ; and, at the same 
" time, implores God's grace with as much fervency, as 
" if that alone could support him : if he neither relies so 
'^ far on his own strength, as not humbly to acknowledge 
" that it is God alone ivho works in him both to will and to 
" r/o, nor so far depends on the grace of God to save 
" him, as to forget that he is required to work out his 
" own salvation — if lastly, at his approaches to the holy 
" altar, he doth prepare himself for the reception of the 
" blessed sacrament, with as much care, diligence, and 
" scrupulosity, as if the benefits he there expects did 
" entirely depend upon the disposition he brings along 
*' with him, and his own fitness to communicate, ^nd 
<^ yet at the same time, not trusting on his gwn ipiper- 


•* feet righteousness, but on God*s infinite mercy, he 
*' doth there, with faith, with humility, with reverence, 
•* address himself to that blessed Spirit, who is the 
•* ^ver of every good and perfect gift^ that he may be 
" filled with his grace and heavenly benediction." 

I cannot but hope that these opinions of a classical 
scholar, a man adorned with all elegant and polite learn- 
ing, as well as with philosophy ; a man, whose habits of 
life and social connections tended to remove him from 
all contagion of enthusiasm, will have great weight with 
the elegant and polite part of the world, in recommend- 
ing the neglected or exploded doctrine of grace. No 
man needs blush to entertain the religious sentiments 
of Bishop Smalridge ; nor can folly or fanaticism be rea* 
sonably imputed to divines like him, whose minds were 
enriched with all the stores of science, and polished with 
all the graces of ornamental literature. 


Human learning highly useful^ and to be pursued with all 
Diligence <i but cannot^ of itself furnish evidences of 
Christianity completely satisfactory^ like those which the 
Heart of the good Christian feels from ^>^e divine Influ- 
ence: with the Opinion of Doctor Isaac Watts. 

1-4 EARNING should be the handmaid of reli- 
gion. She must not take upon her the office of a judge 
or arbitress. Her employment is highly honourable 
and useful, though subordinate. Let learning be cul- 
tivated, and continue to flourish and abound. Religion 
is the sun to the soul ; the source of fight and the che- 
risher of life. But because there is a sun, must there 
be no inferior lights? God has made the moon and the 
stars also, and pronounced that they are good. 



Never let the enemies to Christianity triumph oveir 
it, by asserting that it is an enemy to learning, and 
tends to introduce the ignorance of barbarism. Learn- 
ing, under due regulations, contributes to soften the 
mind, and prepare it for the divine agency. A learned, 
virtuous, and religious man, whose reHgion is vital 
and truly Christian, is a superior being, even in this 
mortal state, and may be imagined, by us his fellow- 
creatures, to be little lower than the angels. 

Nobody can hold learning, and the inventions of hu- 
man ingenuity, in higher esteem than myself; I look 
up to them with affection, and admiration. But after 
all, and however perfect and beautiful they may be, 
Ihey are but human, the product of poor, stiort-Hved, 
fallible mortals. Whatever comes from the Father 
OF LIGHTS, from him who made that mind which is 
capable of learning and science, must deserve more at- 
tention and honour than can possibly be due to the most 
beautiful and stupendous works of human ingenuity. 
These are not to be slighted, but beloved, pursued, re- 
warded. But I am a mortal. Every moment is 
bringing me nearer to that period when the curtain 
shall fall, and all these things be hidden from my eyes* 
My first attention and warmest affection therefore ought 
to be fixed on things spiritual and eternal. 

All arts, all sciences, must be secondary and instru- 
mental to the attainment of divine illumination. I 
AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, says Jcsus Christ. Can 
any reasonable man rest satisfied without coming to the 
light after such a declaration? Will he be contented 
with the radiance of dim lights and false lights, when 
he is invited to approach the brilliant and the true ? 

Learning is necessary for the purposes of this life ; it 
is an ornament and a defence. It is highly useful in 
religious investigation. It furnishes arguments to en- 
force morality, to persuade to all that is good and great, 


and to deter from folly and vice. But let it ever keep to 
its own office, which is certainly, in religious matters, 
ministerial. It can amuse ; it can inform ; but it cannot 
supply the smmnwn bonum; it cannot raise fallen man to 
his original state. Grace only can restore man to 
God's image. If learning could have done it, why 
were the heathens unrestored? are not the infidels 
often learned? and would not the advent of our Lord 
and Saviour have been superfluous, if learning could 
have repaired the ruins of the fall ? 

Few (as I have already said) in the mass of mankind 
are learned. They are perhaps as one to a million. 
What is to become of the millions then, if the gospel 
of Jesus Christ, by which alone they can live in the 
sweet tranquillity of a state of grace, and die with reli- 
gious hope and confidence, cannot be received, with suf- 
Jiciem evidence j without deep learning, logical and me- 
taphysical disputation? What i^iofirove it to thenty wiib 
have neither books, leisure, nor ability to study, if God 
himself do not teach them by his Spirit? Blessed be 
his name, he has taught them, and continues to teach 
them. It is among the learned chiefly that infidelity 
prevails. She inhabits libraries, and walks abroad in 
academic groves, but is rarely seen in the cottage, in 
the field, or in the manufactory. The poor and the 
tmlearned do in general believe in the gospel most 
firmly. What is the evidence which convinces them? 
It is the witness of the Spirit; and thanks be to him 
who said my grace is sufficient for thee* " He that be- 
** lieveth on the Son of God hath this witness in him- 
'^ self.'' 

The opinion of a man like Dr. Isaac Watts on the 
true nature of Christianity, is almost of itself decisive. 
He was not only a devout and zealous Christian, but a 
profound scholar, a natural philosopher, a logician, and 


a metaphysician. His life and conversation exhibited 
a pattern of every Christian virtue. Let us hear him. 

*' Every true Christian," says he, " has a sufficient 
" argument and evidence to support his faith, without 
"' being able to prove the authority of any of the cano- 
** nical writings. He may hold fast his religion, and be 
*' assured that it is divine, though he cannot bring any 
** learned proof that the book that contains it is divine 
«' too ; nay, though the book itself should even happen 
" to be lost or destroyed: and this will appear, with open 
** and easy conviction, by asking a few such questions 
•' as theses 

** Was not this same gospel preached with glorious 
" success before the Nev/ Testament v/as written ? 

«■ Were not the same doctrines of salvation by Jesus 
*' Christ published to the world by the ministry of the 
** apostles, and made effectual to convert thousands, 
" before they set themselves to commit these doctrines 
" to writing? 

<* And had not every sincere believer, every true con- 
** vert, this blessed witness in himself, that Christianity 
'* was from God? 

** Eight or ten years had passed away, after the ascen- 
** sion of Christ, before any part of the New Testament 
** was written; and what multitudes of Christian con- 
*' verts were born again by the preaching of the word, 
^* and raised to a divine and heavenly life, long ere this 
** book was half finished or known, and that among the 
*' heathens as well as Jev/s. Great numbers of the 
** Gentile world became holy believers, each of them 
'* having the efiistle of Christ imtten in the heart, and 
** bearing about within them a noble and convincing 
** proof that this rehgion was divine ; and that without 
*' a written gospel, without e/iistles, and without a Bible. 

" In the first ages of Christianity, for several hundred 
** years together, how few among the common people 

cnRisfiAn PHJLosoPHr. '* 

" were able to read? How few could get the possession 
"or the use of a Bible, when all sacred as well as pro- 
" fane books were of necessity copied by writing? How 
" few of the populace, in any large town or city, could 
" obtain or could use any small part of scripture, before 
" the art of printing made the word of God so common ? 
" And yet millions of these were regenerated, sanctified, 
" and saved by the ministration of the gospel. 

" Be convinced then that Christianity has a more 
" noble inward witness belonging to it than is derived 
" from ink and paper, from precise letters and sylla- 
" bles. And though God, in his great wisdom and 
" goodness, saw it necessary that the New Testament 
" should be written, to preserve these holy doctrines 
" uncorrupted through all ages, and though he has been 
" pleased to be the invariable and authentic rule of our 
" faith and practice, and made it a glorious itstrument 
" of instructing ministers and leading men to salvation 
" in all these latter times ; yet Christianity has a secret 
" witness in the hearts of believers, that does not depend 
" on their knotvledge and proof of the authority of the 
" scriptures^ nor of any of the controversies that in lat- 
" ter ages have attended the several manuscript copies 
" and different readings and translations of the Bible. 

" Now this is of admirable use and importance in the 
" Christian life, upon several accounts. First, if we con- 
" sider how few poor unlearned Christians there are 
" who are capable of taking in the arguments which are 
" necessary to prove the divine authority of the sacred 
^' writings; and how fev/, even among the learned, can 
" well adjust and determine many of the different read- 
" ings or different translations of particular passages in 
" scripture. Now a wise Christian does not build his 
" faith or hope merely upon any one or two single 
" texts, but upon the general scope, sum and sub- 
^' stance of the gospel. By this he feels a siiirituah 

G 2 


" life of peace and piety begun in him. And here lies 
" his EVIDENCE that Christianity is divine, and 
" that these doctrines are from heaven, though a text 
" or two may be falsely written or wrong translated, and 
" though a whole book or two may be hard to be proved 
" authentic. 

" The learned well know what need there is of turn- 
^^ ing over the histories of antient times, of the tradi- 
" tions and writings of the fathers, and all authors pious 
" and profane; what need of critical skill in the holy 
" languages and in antient manuscripts ; what a wide 
" survey of various circumstances of fact, time, place, 
" style, diction, is necessary to confirm one or another 
" book or verse of the New Testament, and to answer 
" the doubts of the scrupulous, and the bold objections 
" of the infidel. Now how few of the common rank of 
" Christians, whose hearts are inlaid with true faith in 
*' the Son of God, and with real holiness^ have leisure y 
" books, instruction, advantages, and judgment sufficient 
" to make a, thorough search into these matters, and to 
" determine, upon a just view of argument, that these 
*^ books were written by the sacred authors whose 
'^ names they bear, and that these authors were under 
" an immediate inspiration in writing them. What a 
" glorious advantage is it then to have such an infal- 
" lible testimony to the truth of the gospel wrought 
^^ and written in the heart by renewing grace, as does 
" not depend on this laborious, learned, and a r gum en- 
a tative evidence of the divine authority of the Bible, 
" or of any particular book or verse in itl 

" Secondly, if we consider what bold assaults are 
" sometimes made upon the faith of the unlearned 
<' Christian by the deists and unbelievers of our age, 
" by disputing against the authority of the scripture, 
<« by ridiculing the strange narratives and sublime doc- 
" trines of the Bible, by setting the seeming contradic- 


" tions in a blasphemous light, and then demanding, 
" How can you prize or how can you believe that this 
" book is the word of God, or that the religion it teaches 
'' is divine?' In such an hour of contest, how happy is 
" the Christian that can say, ' Though I am not able 
" to solve all the difficulties in the Bible, nor maintain 
" the sacred authority of it against the cavils of wit and 
^' learning, yet I am well assured that the doctrines of 
" this book are sacred, and the authority of them divine ; 
" for when I heard and received them, they changed 
" my nature, they subdued my sinful appetites, they 
" made a new creature of me, and raised me from death 
" to life; they made me love God above all things, and 
" gave me the lively and well-grounded hope of his love. 
" Therefore I cannot doubt but that the chief princi- 
" PLEs of this book are divine, though I cannot so well 
" prove that the very words and syllables of it are so 
" too ; for it is the sense of scripture, and not the mere 
^' letters of it, on which I build my hope. What if the 
" scripture should not be divine? What if this gospel 
'' and the other epistles should not be written by inspi- 
" ration ? What if these should be merely the v/ords of 
" men, and not the very word of God ? — Though I can- 
" not recollect all the arguments that prove Matthew, 
" Mark, and Luke to be divine historians, or Peter and 
"Paul to be inspired writers; yet the substance and 
" chief sense of these gospels and their epistles must 
*' needs be divine; for it has begun the spiritual 


" WITNESS, or rather the witness of the Spirit of God 
" within us, that Christ is the Son of God, the 
" Saviour of sinners, and the religion that I pro- 
" fess and practise is safe and divine.' 

" And though there are many and sufficient argu- 
" ments drawn from criticism, history, and human 
" learning to prove the sacred authority of the Bible, 


" and such as may give abundant satisfaction to an 
" honest inquirer, and full satisfaction that it is the 
" word of God; yet this is the chief evieence that 
" the greatest part of Christians can ever attain of the 
" divine original of the holy scripture itself, as well as 
" the truth of the doctrines contained in it, namely, 
" That they have found a holy and heavenly change pass- 
" ed upon them, by reading and hearing the proposi- 
" tions, the histories, the precepts, the promises,^ and 
" the threatenings of this book; and thence they are 
" wont to infer, that the God of truth would not attend 
" a book, which was not agreeable to his mind, with 
" such glorious instances of his own power and grace. 
" I have dwelt the longer on shewing that the inward 
" Hvitness is such a witness to the truth of the Christian 
" religion as does not depend on the exact truth of let-- 
" ters and syllables^ nor on the critical knowledge of the 
" copies of the Bible, nor on this old manuscript or the 
" other new translation, because every manuscript and 
" every translation has enough of the gospel to save 
" souls by it, and make a man a Christian ; and because 
" I think this point of great importance in our age, 
" which has taken so many steps to heathenism and 
" infidelity; for this argument or evidence will defend 
" a Christian in the profession of the true religion, 
" though he may not have skill enough to defend his 
« Bible. 

" Why do you believe in Jesus?" asks the unbeliev- 
" er. If you have this answer ready at hand, ' I have 


" IN MY heart;' this will be sufficient to answer every 
" cavil. 

" The words of St. Paul to the Corinthians have a 
" reference to our present subject. Ye are manifestly 
" declared to be the efiistle of Christ ?ninistered by us;. 
<^ written not with ink but with the Sfirjt' of The Lir^ 


*' 727C, God; not in tables of stone ^ but injieshly tables of 
" the heart^:' 

Thus far Dr. Watts, in his sermons on the inward 
Witness to Christianity^ where the reader will find a 
great deal of truly evangelical instruction. For my 
own part, I cannot but think this good man approached 
as nearly to Christian perfection as any mortal ever did 
in this sublunary state; and therefore I consider him as 
a better interpreter of the Christian doctrines than the 
most learned critics, who proud of their reason and their 
learning, despise or neglect the very life and soul of 
Christianity, the living everlasting gospel^ the superna- 
tural operation of divine grace. And be it ever re- 
membered, that Dr. Watts was a man who cultivated 
his reason with particular care, who studied the ab* 
strusest sciences, and was as well qualified to become a 
verbal critic, or a logical disputant on the scriptures, as 
the most learned among the doctors of the Sorbonnej^ 
or the greatest proficients in polemical divinity. 


The Opinion of Dr* Lucas, the celebrated Author of a 
Treatise on Happiness^ concerning the Evidence of 
Christianity arising from diviiie Communication. 

" X HERE is,'* says Dr. Lucas, " no great 
" need of acquired learning in order to true illumina- 
'^ tion. Our Saviour did not exact of his disciples, as 
^ a necessary preparation for his doctrine, the know- 
^' ledge of tongues, the history of times or of nature ; 
^' logic, metaphysics, or the like. These indeed may 
^^ be serviceable to many excellent ends: they may be 

* 2 Cor. iii. 2, 3. 


" great accomplishments of the mind, great ornaments, 
" and very engaging entertainments of life. They may 
" be, finally, very excellent and necessary instruments 
" of, or introductions to several professions and employ- 
" ments; but as to religious perfection and happiness, to 
" these they can never be indispensably necessary. 

" A man may be excellently, habitually good, with- 
" out more languages than one ; he may be fully per- 
" suaded of those great truths, that will render him 
" master of his passions and independent of the world ; 
" that will render him easy and useful in this life, and 
" glorious in another, though he be no logician nor me- 
" taphysician. 

" The qualifications previously necessary to iUumina^ 
" Hon are two or three moral ones, implied in that 
" INFANT temper which our Saviour required in those 
" who would be his disciples, — humility, impartiality, 
" and a thirst and love of truth." 

" There is a knowledge, which, like the summit of 
" Pisgah where Moses stood, shews us the land of Ca- 
<' naan, but does not bring us to it. 

" How does the power of darkness, at this moment, 
^' prevail amidst the light of the gospel ? Are men igno^ 
" rant? No: but their knowledge is not such as it ought 
" to be ; it is not the light of life. 

" The understanding does not always determine the 
" will. 

" Though every honest man be not able to discover 
" all the arguments on which his creed stands, he yet 
" may discover enough; and what is more, he may 
" have an inward, vital, sensible proof of them; 
" he may feel the power, the charms of holiness, ^a- 
^^ fierience its congruity and loveliness to the human 
^' soul, so as that he shall have no doubts or scrufiles. 
" But besides this, there is a voice within, a divine 
" Teacher and Instructor. 


" Extraordinary natural parts are not necessary to 
•^ illumination. The gospel takes no notice of them. 
" Such is the beauty of holiness, that it requires rather 
^> a fine sensibility arising from purity of heart, than 
" quickness of intellectual apprehension, to render us 

" ENAMOURED of it." 

A truth which involves the present and eternal hap*" 
piness of human beings, cannot be placed in too great 
a variety of lights, or too repeatedly enforced. " He 
^' that soweth to the Sfiirit^'' says St. Paul, " shall of 
^' the Spirit reap life everlasting*." When such is the 
harvest, every benevolent mind must wish to urge man- 
kind, in this their seed-time, to sow to the Spirit. What 
is so important cannot be inculcated by too frequent 
repetition. I therefore quote authors which occur to 
me in the course of my reflections on the subject, whose 
opinions, though similar, may add weight to doctrines 
already advanced. Such is the above from Dr. Lucas, 
a most excellent divine, never charged with the least 
tendency to blameable enthusiasm. 

I wish my reader to pay particular attention to what 
he suggests on the infant temper, required by our 
Lord in his followers. " Except," says Jesus Christ, 
" ye be converted, and become as little children^ ye shall 
" not enter into the kingdom of Godf." — " Verily I say 
" unto you. Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom 
" of God as a little child, he shall not enter there- 

The amiable dispositions of infants must therefore be 
produced in the heart, before the religion of Christ can 
be received into it. But are such dispositions best pro- 
duced, or can they be produced at all, by subtle dispu- 
tations, by cold argumentation, by bringing forward 
objections in order to display ingenuity in answers, 

^ Galatians, vi. 8. f Mat. xviii. 3. \ Mark, x. 14. 


laboured indeed and sagacious, but, after all, unsatis* 
factory to many, and unintelligible to more ? 

Yet this mode of recommending Christianity is the 
only one approved by some persons of high authority ; 
and there are those who would not venture to preach 
the doctrine of grace, the teaching of God and a sjiiritual 
understanding^ lest they should be numbered with enthu- 
siasts, and lose all chance of promotion and worldly 
esteem. This danger must be voluntarily incurred by 
all who would succeed in repelling the rapid advances 
of modern infidelity. Christianity flourished wonder- 
fully while its genuine doctrines, the glad tidings of 
grace, were preached ; and it has been gradually declin- 
ing, ever since it has become fashionable, in order to 
discountenance fanaticism, to recommend mere heathen 
morality as the essence of Christianity, and to make use 
of no other arguments to prove the truth of it, but such 
as an ingenious man, without the smallest particle of 
religion in his heart, might produce. Professional ad- 
vocates, furnished with human arguments only and ex- 
ternal evidence, appear to the true Christian, as well as 
to the unbeliever, like lawyers pleading for a/ee, on that 
side of the question which they know to be wrong, or at 
least are not convinced is right. It is indeed certain 
that a dull and plodding scholar may make a wonderful 
display of erudition in defence of Christianity, without 
feeling a lively sense of it himself, or communicating it 
to his readers. His materials supply the adversaries, 
with arms for fresh attacks, and at the same time fail 
in building an impregnable rampart round the citadel 
which he undertakes to defend. There is usually some 
weak place at which the enemy enters ; and, having once 
entered, he takes possession of the fortress, and uses 
the stores and ammunition against the very persons 
who collected them with so much labour* 


Nothing of this kind can happen when recourse is had 
to the teaching of the Spirit. It overcomes the heart; 
it brings it to the lovely state of infantine innocence and 
simplicity ; and renders him who, like St. Paul was a 
persecutor of it, a warm friend and advocate. 

It is certain that the argumentative mode of address- 
ing unbelievers, and a reliance on external evidence, has 
hitherto failed. Many of the most learned and able 
men of modern times, who were capable of understand- 
ing the historical, logical, and metaphysical defences of 
Christianity, have read them without conviction, and 
laughed at their laborious imbecillity. 

It is time to try another mode : And all who are sin- 
cere Christians will favour the experiment; for they 
would rather see men converted to the true religion, 
though they should become fervent, and zealous even 
to a degree of harmless enthusiasm, than totally alien- 
ated from it, and enlisted under the partizans of infi- 

If men of the world and men of learning'^ will not 
interpose to prevent the divine energy, we shall see it 
produce its genuine effects in all their vigour and ma- 
turity, as well in the world of grace as of nature. A 
secret operation gives life and growth to the tree, and 
so will it to the human soul. " I am the vine^ ye are 
" the branches,** says our Saviour: the branches will 
soon wither and decay, if the sap flows not to them 
fix)m the vine. 

* Nee Philosophos se ostentent: sed satagant fieri Theodi- 
mACTi. Greg. ix. Ep. ad Univ. Paris, 



Passages from a well-known Book ofcCn anonymous Author^ 
intitled Inward Testimony. 


.EAL Christians find, that as soon as they 
" apply themselves to know what is comfirehensible in the 
" sacred scriptures, and to a sincere endeavour to do 
^' what IS firacticable^ so soon a faith in its incompre- 
" HENsiBLE doctrines is produced, and then is fulfilled, 
" that he that doth the will of God shall know of the doc- 
*' trines whether they be of God, 

'' The DIVINE Spirit concurs with the outward reve- 
" lation in changing a man's sceptical disposition, and 
" then he is fixed: otherwise he would be as ready as 
" ever to embrace the first filausible g^rgument against 
" the gospel. 

" We have some, who, by their mere notional know-r 
" ledge of revelation, the outvjard testimony to Christi- 
" anity, disbelieve the reality or necessity of any ac- 
" quaintance with the inward testimony^ by which the 
" DIVINE Spirit produces a serious spiritual frame, 
" fitting the soul to receive the sanctifying impressions 
" of an outward revelation. They think that reading 
" of sacred scripture, and forming from thence right 
" notions of Christianity, in order to talk of it, with a 
" going the round of common duties, and a not being 
" guilty pf common sins, is the %vhole of the Christian 
" religion, and all the meetness that is necessary for 
" heaven. A serious heavenly frame, suitable to 
" the true notion of revelation, has no place in them ; 
" they ridicule it in others, and name it affectation, 
" rather than any real part of Christianity. 

" An ingenious mind may argue for God against the 
" athdst; for Christ against the Socinian; and for the 


" outward testimony of the Spirit of Christ against 
" the Deist; and he himself be no real Christian: but no 
" person can well display this inward testimony of Christ 
^' in the soul, without the experience of it*/' 


Dr. Townson's Olilnions on the Evidence which is in this 
Book recommended as sujierior to all other. 

^^ If the w^ord was enforced by miracles in the 
" times only of its early publication, it has the standing 
" support and evidence of another power, which is 
^^ still as operative,^ where we will allow it, as ever. This 
*' is declared and promised in the following passage: 
''' Jesus answered than and said^ My doctrine is not mine^ 
" but his that sent me. If any man will do his will^ he shall 
'' knoTo of the doctrine whether it be of God^ or whether I 
^^ sjieak of myself. 

" The person who enters on the study of a science, 
'• of which he has only a general idea, must receive 
*'' many things at first on the authority of his instructors. 
" And surely there is no one, who, by his life and works, 
^' has such claim to trust and confidence in his words as 
*' tlie Author and Finisher of our faith. If then we 
" really desire to know the certainty of his doctrine; if 
'• we have the courage to sacrifice meaner pursuits to 
^' the wisdom that is from above, and the felicity of at- 
" taining it; we shall study the truth of his religion as he 
" directs, by the practice of its lavn^s. And this 

* Jam hie videte magnum sacramentiim, Fratres. Magisteria 
forinsecus adjutoria qusedam sunt et admonitiones ; Cathedram 


August. Tr. 3. in 1 Joan. 


" method, he assures us, will yield us the repose and 
" comfort oi firm fiersuasion. Continuing stedfast in 
^^ such a course of discipline, we shall not seek after 
" signs from heaven, nor ask to behold the blind receive 
" their sight, the lame walk, the deaf hear, or the dead 
" raised up. The healing efficacy and blessed influ- 
" ence of the gospel will sufficiently vouch for its truth 
" and excellence. 

'^ The EVIDENCE which thus possesses the soul is not 
" liable to be impaired by time, as might an impression 
" once made on the senses; but will shine more and 
" more unto a perfect day. For the practice of reii- 
*' gion, by Jiurifying the hearty will raise and improve 
" the understanding to conceive more clearly and judge 
" more rightly of heavenly things and divine truths: 
" the view and contemplation of which will return upon 
^' the heart the warmth of livelier hopes and more vigo- 
" rous incitements to obedience ; and effectual obedience 
" will feel and testify that it is the finger of God. 

" For is nature able, by its own efficiency, to clear the 
" eyes of the mind ; to rectify the will ; to regulate the 
" affections; to raise the soul to its noblest object, in 
" love and adoration of God ; to employ it steadily in 
" its best and happiest exercise, justice and charity to 
^^ man ; to detach its desires from the pleasures, profits, 
" and honours of the world; to exalt its views to hea- 
'' venly things ; to render the v^^hole life godly, just, and 
" sober? He, who impartially examines his own moral 
" abilities by the pure and searching light of the gospel, 
" must discern their defects and weakness in every part; 
^' and when he well considers the tenor and spirit of this 
" gospel, must acknowledge that he is not of himself 
" sufficient for the attainments to which it calls, and 
*' conducts its faithful votary. 

" What then is it that hath taken him by the hand, 
<' and, leads him on in this rising path of virtue and 



" holiness ; that prevents his steps from sliding ; or if 
" his foot hath slipped, raises him again ; that keeps him 
« steady in the right way ; or, if at any time he hatk 
" wandered out of it, recalls him to it; that strengthens 
" him to resist temptations, or endure toils, and so con- 
" tinue patiently in well doing; that, as he advances, 
^' opens to his faith a still brightening view of the hea- 
" venly Jerusalem, through the gloom which our earthly 
" state hangs upon death and futurity ; and animates him 
^' to live and walk by this faith ? 

'' If these are exertions beyond the sphere of mere 
" human activity, the question, whence such improve- 
" ment of soul and spirit and life proceeds, will admit of 
" an easy and clear answer. It is God who blesses our 
" earnest petitions thcit we may do his will, and our sin- 
" cere endeavours to do it, with the grace of his Holy 
" Spirit ; who worketh in us both to will and to do of his 
^' good pleasure; and thus verifies and fulfils the promises, 
" made by Christ to those who ask in his name, of succour 
" and strength from on high. Christ therefore is his 
'' beloved Son, by whom w^e are redeemed, and in whom 
" we are accepted. The religion which he hath taught 
" us, so worthy of God in the theory, and so favoured by 
" him in the practice of its laws, proves its heavenly 
" origin by the fruit it produces; and brirfgs its divinity 
" home to the breast of the devout professor by expe- 
" RiENCE of its power unto salvation. 

" It is natural to conclude, that he who has this con- 
" viction of its certainty will be desirous of persuading 
. " others to the belief and practice of it; and \vill be of 
" an apt and fit disposition to instruct them in it." 

There are scarcely any recent divines, whose opinions 
ought to have more weight than those of Dr. Townson. 
He lived, as he wrote, according to the true gospel. He 
is universally esteemed by the most learned and judi- 
cious theologists of the present day; and his opinions 

H 2 


alone carry with them sufficient authority to justify me 
fully in recommending that evidence of the gospel truth 
which arises from divine influence, consequent on obe- 
dience to its precepts. An orthodox life, I am con- 
vinced, is the best preparative to the enteitainment of 
orthodox opinions; and I rejoice to find such men as 
Tounson enforcing the doctrine, " that if any man will 
" do the will of Christ, he shall know of the doctrine 
" whether it be of God." He does not refer us to sys- 
tematical or philosophical works, but to the teaching of 
the Holy Ghost, for the attainment of this knowledge ; 
a knowledge, compared to which all other is to man, 
condemned as he is shortly to die, but puerile amuse- 
ment, a house of cards, a bubble blown up into the air, 
and displaying deceitful colours in a momentary sun« 

. SECTION xvn. 

JDr. Doddridge on the DGctrine of Divine Influence* 

« Ai 

uNY degree of divine inPxuence on the mind, 
" inclining it to believe in Christ and to practise virtue, 
" is called grace. All those who do indeed believe in 
^* Christ, and in the main practise virtue, are to ascribe 
"it not merely or chiefly to their own wisdom and 
" goodness, but to the special operation of divine grace 
" upon their souls, as the original cause of it. None 
" can deny, that God has such an access to the minds of 
" men that he can work upon them in what manner he 
" pleases : and there is great reason to believe, that his 
" secret influence on the mind gives a turn to many of 
" the most important events relating to particular per- 


" sons and societies*, as it is evident many of the public 
^' revolutions, mentioned in the Old Testament, are 
" ascribed to this cause t« Though the mind of man 
" be not invincibly determined by motives, yet in mat- 
" ters of great importance it is not determined without 
^' them: and it is reasonable to believe, that where a 
" person goes through those difficulties which attend 
" faith and obedience, he must have a very lively view 
" of the great engagements to them, and probably, upon 
" the whole, a more lively view than another, w^ho, in 
" the same circumstances, in all other respects acts in 
" a different manner. Whatever instruments are made 
" use of as the means of making such powerful impress 
" sions on the mind, the efficacy of them is to be ascribed 
" to the continual agency of the first cause. The preva- 
" lence of virtue and piety in the church is to be ascribed 
" to God, as the great original Author, even upon the 
" principles of natural religion* Good men in scripture, 
" who appear best to have understood the nature of God, 
" and his conduct towards men, and w^ho wrote under 
" the influence and inspiration of his Spirit, frequently 
'^ offer up such petitions to God, as shew that they be- 
" lieved the reality and importance of his gracious agen- 
" cy upon the heart to promote piety and virtue :j.. God 
" promises to produce such a change in the hearts of 
" those to whom the other valuable blessings of his word 
" are promised, as plainly imphes that the alteration 
" made in their temper and character is to be looked 
" upon as his workl.l. 

* Prov. xxi. 1. 

t Ezra, i. 1. Religion of Nature delineated, p. 105 — 107. 

I Psal. li. 10—12. xxxix. 4. xc. 12. cxix. 12. 18. 27. 33—37. 73. 
80. 133. 1 Chron. xxix. 18. 19. Eph. i. 16, &c. Col. i. 9— 
11, &c. slm. 

II Deut. XXX. 6. Psal. ex. 3. Jer. xxxi. oo. xxxi. 39, 40. 
Ezek. xi. 19, 20. xxxvi. 26, 27. Compare Heb. viii. 8—15. 


" The scripture expressly declares, in many places, 
^' that the work oi faith in the soul is to be ascribed to 
" God, and describes the change made in a man's heart, 
"when it becomes truly reli^ous, in such language as 
" must lead the mind to some strength superior to our 
" own by which it is effected*. The increase of Chris- 
" tians in faith and piety, is spoken of as the work of 
" God; which must more strongly imply that the first 
" beginnings of it are to be ascribed to himf. The 
" scripture does expressly assert the absolute necessity 
" of such divine influences on the mind, in order to faith 
♦' and holiness, and speaks of God's giving them to one 
" while he with-holds them from another, as the great 
" reason of the difference to be found in the characters 
" of different men in this important respect:}:. 

" It appears probable from the light of nature, and 
" certain from the word of God, that faith and repen- 
" tance are ultimately to be ascribed to the work of spe- 
" cial grace upon the hearts of men ||. As to the man- 

* John, i. 13. iii. 3. 5, 6. Acts, xi. 18. xvi. 14. 2 Cor. iii. 3. 
Eph. i. 19, 20. ii. 1. 10. iv. 24. Phil. i. 29. Col. i. 11. 12. ii. 12, 13. 
Vid. James, i. 18. 2 Tim. ii. 25. To this catalogue we scruple 
not to add Eph. ii. 8. though some have objected that ts/Jo cannot 
refer to ?s-i5"S&'? ; since the like change of genders is often to be 
found in the New Testament ; compare Acts, xxiv. 16. xxvi. 17. 
Phil. i. 28. 1 John, ii. 8. Gal. iii. 16. iv. 19. Matth. vi. idt. xxviii. 
19. Rom. ii. 14. Eisner's Observ. vol. i.p. 128. Raphel. Observ. 
ex Herod, in Matth. xxviii. 19. Glassii Op. 1. iii. Tract, ii. de pr- 
Can. xvi. p. 524—526. 

t Psal. cxix. 32. Phil. i. 6. ii. 13. 1 Cor. vii. 25. iii, 7. iv. 7. 
XV. 10. 2 Cor. V. 5. Heb. xiii. 20, 21. 1 Pet. v. 10. Jude, ver. 
24, 25. 

:j: Deut. xxix. 4. Matth. xi. 25, 26. John, vi. 44, 45, 46. xii. 
39, 40. Rom. ix. 18.— 23. 

II Lime-street Lect. vol. ii. p. 242 — 245. Tillotson's Works, 
voh ii. p. 80, 81. Limb. Theol. 1. iv. c. 14. § 4, 21. Brandt's 
Hist, of the Ref. vol. ii, p. 75, Doddridge on Regen. Serm, vii. 


" ner in which divine grace operates upon the mind, 
" considering how little it is we know of the nature and 
<' and constitution of our own souls, and of the frame of 
" nature around us, it is no wonder that it should be un- 
" accountable to us *. Perhaps it may often be, by im- 
^' pelling the animal spirits or nerves, in such a manner 
'' as is proper to excite certain ideas in the mind with a 
" degree of vivacity, which they would not otherwise 
" have had: by this means various passions are excited; 
" but the great motives addressed to gratitude and love 
" seem generally, if not always, to operate upon the will 
" more powerfully than any other, which many divines 
" have therefore chosen to express by the phrase of de- 
*' kctatio victrix\.^ 


The Opinions of Mr* Locke and Mr. Addison. 

At will be difficult to prove that any of the 
modern worshippers of their own reason possess under- 
standings better illuminated than those of the great 
ornaments of our country, Locke and Addison; and 
they have left on record their opinion on the reality and 

p. 221 — 233. Jortin's Six Dissertations, No, 1. Warbiirton*s 
Doctrine of Grace. Fost. Sermons, vol, ii. No. 5. prses. p. 104, 

* John, iii. 8. 

t Compare Deut. xxx, 6. Psal, cxix, 16. 20, 32, 47, 48. 97. 103. 
Psal. xix. 10, 11. Rom. vii. 22. 1 John, iv. 18, 19. Rem. v. 5. 
Le Blanc's Thes. p. 527, § 53. Bum. Life of Roch. p. 43—51. 
Barclay's Apol. p. 148. Burnet on Art, p. 120. Whitby Com- 
ment, vol. ii. p. 289, 290, Scougal's Works, p. 6—10. Seed's 
Serm. vol. i. p. 291. Ridley on the Spirit, p. 210. King's Origin 
of Evil, p. 71, 376—380, fourth edition. 


necessity of supernatural assistance. It is evident, I 
think, that Mr. Locke's understanding and temper were 
very little inclined to admit any thing fanatical. He 
appears to have weighed well, in the balance of reason, 
whatever he advanced ; and therefore his testimony may 
be supposed to hctve authority on the minds of those 
who, in forming their religious principles, lay claim to 
pre-eminent rationality. 

Mr. Addison is universally allov/ed to have united in 
himself the scholar, the philosopher, and the gentleman. 
His liberal and polished mind always appeared to me 
peculiarly formed for theological subjects, and he treats 
them in a most pleasing and persuasive manner. Let 
us hear both these great men on our present subject. 

" To these I must," says Mr. Locke, " add one ad- 
<^ vantage more we have by Jesus Christ, and that is, 
" the promise of assistance. If we do what we can, 
" he will give us his spirit to hclfi us to do what, and 
" how we should. It will be idle for us, who know not 
" how our own spirits move and act us, to ask in what 
" manner the Spirit of God shall work upon us. The 
" wisdom that accompanies that spirit knows better than 
" we hov/ we are made, and how to work upon us. If 
" a wise man knows how to prevail on his child, to bring 
" him to what he desires, can we suspect that the spirit 
^' and wisdomi of God fciil in it, though we perceive or 
'' comprehend not the ways of his operation? Christ has 
<' promised it, who is faithful and just, and we cannot 
" doubt of the performance. It is not requisite, on this 
<' occasion, for the inhancing of this benefit, to enlarge 
" on the frailty of minds, and weakness of our consti- 
<' tutions; how liable to mistakes, how apt to go astray, 
" and how easily to be turned out of the paths of virtue. 
" If any one needs go beyond himself and the testimony 
" of his own conscience on this point; if he feels not his 
<' own errors and passions always tempting him, and 


<^ often prevailing against the strict rules of his duty, he 
^' need but look abroad mto any age of the world to be 
" convinced. To a man under the difficulties of his 
" nature, beset with temptations, and hedged in with 
" prevailing custom, it is no small encouragement to set 
" himself seriously on the courses of virtue and practice 
<' of true religion, that he is from a sure hand and an 
*' almighty arm promised assistance to support and 
" carry him through." 

Let us hear also Mr. Addison, a lay divine of the first 

" We who have this veil of flesh standing between 
'' us and the world of spirits, must be content to know 
" that the Spirit of God is present with us, by the effects 
" which he produceth in us. Our outward senses are 
" too gross to apprehend him; we may however taste 
" and see how gracious he is, by his influence upon our 
" minds, by those virtuous thoughts which he awakens 
" in us, by those secret comforts and refreshments which 
'" he conveys into our souls and by those ravishing joys 
" and inward satisfactions which are perpetually spring- 
" ing up and diffusing themselves among all the thoughts 
*' of good men. He is lodged in our very essence^ and is 
" as a soul tvithin the soul^ to irradiate its understanding ^ 
" rectify its will^ jiurifij its passions and eidiven all the 
" flowers of man. How happy therefore is an inteilec- 
" tual being, who, by prayer and meditation, by virtue 
" and good works, opens this communication between God 
" and his own soul ! Though the whole creation frowns 
" upon him, and all nature looks black about him, he 
" has his light and support within him, that are able to 
^' cheer his mind, and bear him up in the midst of all 
^' those horrors which encompass him. He knows that 
^' his helper is at hand, and is always nearer to him than 
" any thing else can be, which is capable of annoying or 
^' terrifying him. In the midst of calumny or contempt, 


" he attends to that being who whispers better things 
*' within his soul, and whom he looks upon as his de- 
<^ fender, his glory, and the lifter-up of his head. In 
^' his deepest solitude and retirement he knows that he 
" is in company with the greatest of Beings ; and per- 
^^ ceives within himself 5z/cA real sensations of his 
^' firesence^ as are more delightful than any thing that 
" can be met with in the conversation of his creatures, 
^f Even in the hour of death he considers the pains of 
*' his dissolution to be nothing else but the breaking 
^^ down of that partition which stands betwixt his soul 
" and the sight of that Being, who is always present 
" with him, and is about to manifest itself to him in 
" fulness of joy. 

" If we would be thus happy, and thus sensible of 
^' our Maker's presence, from the secret effects of his 
" mercy and goodness, we must keep such a watch over 
" all our thoughts, that, in the language of the scrip- 
*^ ture, his soul may have fileasure in us* We must take 
" care not to grieve his Holy Spirit, and endeavour to 
<^ make the meditations of our hearts always acceptable 
" in his sight, that he may delight thus to reside and 
" dwell in us. The light of nature could direct Seneca 
" to this doctrine in a very remarkable passage among 
^^ his epistles: ' 8acer ineat in nobis spiritus bonorum 
" malorumque custos ct observatory et quemadmodmn nos 
*' illu7n tractamus^ ita et ille nosJ* There is a Holy Spi- 
" rit residing in us, who watches and observes both good 
" and evil men, and will treat us after the same manner 
" that we treat him. But I shall conclude this discourse 
" with those more emphatical words in divine revela- 
" tion: ^' If a man love me^ he will keep, my woi'ds; a?id 
" my Father will love hirn^ and we will come and make our 
*' abode with him," 

I cannot help observing, that after the sour and bitter 
potions administered by tlie metaphysical sceptres of 


i*ecent times, the pages of the Spectator seem to afford 
the heart a delicious ahment or a balsamic medicine. 
If men did not too much resemble the prodigal in the 
gospel, they would surely rejoice to feed on manna at 
their father's table, rather than on husks with swine. 


The Ofiinion of Soame Jenyns on the fundamental Prin^ 
ciples of Christianity. 

" If Christianity is to be learned out of the New 
" Testament, and words have any weaning affixed to 
" them, the fundamental principles of it are these: 

" That mankind came into this world in a depraved 
" and fallen condition; that they are placed here for a 
" while, to give them an opportunity to work out their 
" salvation ; that is, by a virtuous and pious life to purge 
*' off that guilt and depravity, and recover their lost state 
" of happiness and innocence in a future Hfe ; that this 
" they are unable to perform without the grace and 
" ASSISTANCE OF GoD ; and that, after their best endea- 
" vours, they cannot hope for pardon from their own 
" merits, but only from the merits of Christ, and the 
" atonement made for their transgressions by his suffer- 
" ings and death. This is clearly the sum and substance 
" of the Christian dispensation ; and so adverse is it to 
<^ all the principles of human reason^ that if brought be- 
" fore her tribunal, it must inevitably be condemned. If 
" we give no credit to its divine authority, any attempt 
" to reconcile them is useless, and, if we believe it, pre- 
" sumptuous in the highest degree. To prove the Rea- 
" soNABLENEss of a rcvelatiou, is in fact to destroy it; 
" because a revelation implies information of something 


" which reason cannot discover^ and therefore must be 
^< different from its deductions, or it would be no revela- 
« tion." 

The opinion of a professed wit and man of fashion 
may have weight with those .who are prejudiced 
against professional divines. It has been doubted by 
many whether Mr. Jenyns was a sincere Christian. 
I am inclined to believe that he was sincere. As, in 
recommending Christianity, it is right to become all 
things to all men^ that we inay save somcy his testimony 
is admitted in this place, though his lively manner of 
writing throws an air of levity on subjects, which, from 
their important nature, must always be considered as 
grave by all the partakers of mortality, who think 
justly and feel acutely. 


The O/iinion of Bishofi Horsely on the prevalent JSTeglect 
of teaching the peculiar Doctrines of Christianity^ 
under the Idea that Moral Duties constitute the Whole 
or the better part of it. Among the peculiar DoctHnes 
is evidently included that of Grace^ which the Metho* 
dists inculcate^ (as the Bishofi intimates^) not errone^ 

-DISHOP Horsleyhas proved himself a mathe- 
matician and philosopher of the first rank, as well as a 
divine. All his works display singular vigour of intel- 
lect. He cannot be suspected of weak superstition op 
wild fanaticism. To the honour of Christianity, the 
editor of Newton, as well as Newton himself, is a firm 
supporter of its most mysterious doctrines. I desire 


the reader to Weigh well the words of this able divine, 
as they were delivered in a charge to his clergy. 

" A maxim has been introduced;" says he, " that the 
" laity, the more illiterate especially, have little concern 
" with the mysteries of revealed religion, provided they 
" be attentive to its duties ; vi^hence it hath seemed a safe 
" and certain conclusion, that it is more the office of a 
** Christian teacher to press the practice of religion upon 
" the consciences of his hearers, than to inculcate and 
" insert its doctrines. 

" Again, a dread of the pernicious tendency of some 
" extravagant opinions, which persons, more to be 
" esteemed for the warmth of their piety than the sound- 
" ness of their judgment, have grafted in modern times, 
" upon the doctrine of justification by faith, as it is stated 
" in the lith, 12th, and 13th of the Articles of our 
" Church, (which, however, is no private tenet of the 
" church of England, but the common doctrine of all 
" the first reformers, not to say that it is the very comer- 
" sione of the nvhole By stem of redemfition^ adrea,dof the 
" pernicious tendency of those extravagant opinions, 
'^ which seem to emancipate the believer from the autho- 
" rity of all moral law, hath given general credit to 
" another maxim; which I never hear without extreme 
^^ concern from the lips of a divine, either from the pul- 
" pit or in familiar conversation ; namely, that practical 
" religion and morality are one and the same thing: that 
^' moral duties constitute the whole, or by far the better 
" part, of practical Christianity. 

" Both these maxims are erroneous. Both, so far 
" as they are received, have a pernicious influence over 
" the ministry of the word. The first most absurdly 
" separates practice from the motives of practice. The 
" second, adopting that separation, reduces practical 
" Christianity to heathen virtue ; and the two, taken 
*^ together, have much contributed to divest our sermons 



" of the genuine sjiint and savour of Christianity^ and to 
" reduce them to mere moral essays: in which moral 
" duties are enforced, not, as indeed they might be to 
" good purpose, by scriptural motives, but by such argu- 
" ments as no where appear to so much advantage as in 
*' the writings of the heathen moraUsts, and are quite out 
" of their place in a pulpit. The rules delivered may 
" be observed to vary according to the temperament of 
" the teacher. But the system chiefly in request, with 
" those who seem the most in earnest in this strain of 
^' preaching, is the strict but impracticable, unsocial, 
" sullen moral of the Stoics. Thus, under the influence 
" of these two pernicious maxims, it too often happens 
" that we lose sight of that w^hich is our proper oflice, 
" to publish ^the word of reconciliation, to propound the 
" terms of peace and pardon to the penitent, and we 
" make no other use of the high commission that we 
" bear, than to come abroad one day in the seven, 
'' dressed in solemn looks, and in the external garb of 
" holiness, to be the apes of Epictetus. 

'^ The first of the two, which excludes the laity from 
^' all concern with the doctrinal part of religion, and 
" directs the preacher to let the doctrine take its chance, 
" and to turn the whole attention of his hearers to prae^ 
" tice, must tacitly assume for its foundation (for it can 
" stand upon no other foundation) this complex propo- 
" sition : Not only that the practice of religious duties 
" is a far more excellent thing in the life of man, far 
^' more ornamental of the Christian profession, than 
" any knowledge of the doctrine w ithout the practice ; 
" but, moreover, that men m.ay be brought to the prac- 
" tice of religion without previous instruction in its doc- 
" trines ; or in other words, that faith and practice are, 
" in their nature, separable things. Now the former 
" branch of this double assumption, that virtue is a moi^ 
*^ excellent thing in human life than knowledge, is un- 


^< questionably true, and a truth of great importance, 
« which cannot be too frequently or too earnestly incul- 
" cated. But the second branch of the assumption, that 
« faith and practice are separable things, is a gross mis- 
" take, or rather a manifest contradiction. Practical 
« holiness is the end ; faith is the means : and to suppose 
" faith and practice separable, is to suppose the end 
« attainable without the use of means. The direct con- 
" trary is the truth. The practice of religion will 
" always thrive, in proportion as its doctrines are gene- 
^' rally understood and firmly received; and the prac- 
" tice will degenerate and decay, in proportion as the 
" doctrine is misunderstood or neglected. It is true, 
" therefore, that it is the great duty of a preacher of the 
" gospel to press the practice of its precepts upon the 
" consciences of men ; but then it is equally true, that 
^' it is his duty to enforce this practice in a particular 
^' way ; namely, by inculcating its doctrines. The mo- 
^' tives which the revealed doctrines furnish, are the only 
^' motives he has to do with, and the only motives by 
" which religious duty can be effectually enforced. 

" I am aware, that it has been very much the fashion, 
" to suppose a great want of capacity in the common 
*' people, to be carried any great length in religious 
" knowledge, more than in the abstruse sciences. That 
" the world and all things in it had a maker; that the 
•' Maker of the world made man, and gave him the life 
" which he now enjoys ; that he who first gave life, can 
*^ at any time restore it; that he can punish, in a future 
" life, crimes which he suffers to be committed with im- 
" punity in this ; some of these first principles of religion 
*< the vulgar, it is supposed, may be brought to compre- 
** hend. But the peculiar doctrines of revelation, the 
" trinity of persons in the undivided Godhead; the in; 
" carnation of the second person ; the expiation of sin 
'^ by the Redeemer's sufferings and death; the efficacy 

I 2 


" of his intercession; the mysterious commerce of 
"the believer's soul with the divine spirit; 
" these things are supposed to be far above their reach. 
" If this were really the case, the condition of man would 
" indeed be miserable, and the proffer of mercy, in the 
" gospel, little better than a mockery of their woe ; for 
^' the consequence would be, that the common people 
" could never be carried beyond the first principles of 
" what is called natural religion. Of the efficacy of 
" natural religion, as a rule of action, the world has had 
" the long experience of 1600 years. For so much was 
" the interval between the institution of the Mosaic 
" church, and the publication of the gospel. During 
" that interval, certainly, if not from an earlier period, 
" natural religion was left to try its powers on the 
" heathen world. The result of the experiment is, that 
" its powers are of no avail. Among the vulgar^ natu- 
" ral religion never produced any effect at all ; among 
" the learned, much of it is to be foimd in their writings, 
'' little in their lives. But if this natural religion, a 
" thing of no practical efficacy, as experiment has de- 
" monstrated, be the utmost of religion which the com- 
" mon people can receive, then is our preaching vain, 
" Christ died in vain, and man must still perish. Blessed 
" be God! the case is far otherwise. As we have, on 
" the one side, experimental proof of the insignificance 
" of what is called natural religion ;* so, on the other, in 
" the success of the first preachers of Christianity we 
" have an experimental proof of the sufficiency of re- 
" vealed religion to those very ends in which natural 
*^ religion failed. In their success we have experimen- 
" tal proof that there is nothing in the gi^at mystery of 
" godliness, which the vulgar, more than the learned, 
" want capacity to apprehend, since, upon the first 
" preaching of the gospel, the illiterate, the scorn of 
<' Pharisaical pride, who knew not the law, and were 


<' therefore deemed accursed, were the first to under- 
" stand, and to embrace the Christian doctrine.**** 

" An OYER-ABUNDANT zcal to check the phrenzy of 
" the Methodists, first introduced that unscriptural 
" language which confounds religion and morality.**** 
" The great crime* and folly of the Methodists consists 
" not so much in heterodoxy^ as in fanaticism : not in 
" PERVERSE DOCTRINE, but rather in a disorderly zeal 
" for the propagation of the truth.**** Reason, till 
" she has been taught by the lively oracles of God, 
" knows nothing of the sfiiritual life^ and the food 
" brought down from heaven for its sustenance.*' 

The Bishop here intimates, that " our sermons are 
" often divested of the genuine spirit and savour of 
" Christianity." If so, it is no wonder that our churches 
are forsaken and our religion despised. It is a fact, to 
which I have frequently been an eye-witness, that spa- 
cious churches in ^London, capable of containing thou- 
sands, are almost empty, notwithstanding the preachers 
every where inculcate excellent morality. Wherever 
indeed there appears, what the common people call, an 
EVANGELICAL preacher, the churches are so crouded 
that it is difficult to gain admittance. The multitude 
hunger and thirst for the spiritual food; yet evangelical 
preaching is discouraged by many in high places^ because 
it is said to savour of enthusiasm and to delude the vul- 

* The phraseology and charge, in this place, w€ understand 
from a respectable source, is somewhat exceptionable ; and that 
some judic'ous and candid readers have expressed their regret 
that so valuable a book, otherwise, should contain a sentiment so 
calculated to give displeasure to a numerous and respectable body 
of christians, who, as the author admits, are zealously engaged 
in '< the propagation of the truth"— and as a body of people, 
they consider the charge of fanaticism unjustly applied. 


-gar*. But it is this preaching alone which will pre- 
serve Christianity among us, and cause it to be consi- 
dered as any thing better than a state-engine for the 
depression of the people. 


The Church of England teaches the true Doctrine of 


.N recommending to more general notice the 
doctrine of grace, I make no pretensions to a new dis- 
covery. It is obviously the doctrine of the Gospel; it 
is obviously the doctrine of the Church; it is fully ac- 
knowledged by all who sincerely use that form of prayer, 
which is established by the authority not only of those 
who composed it, but of those who ever since its com- 
position, even to the present day, retain it in the divine 

Bishop Gibson, who was certainly a zealous friend to 
the Church of England, has collected a number of pas- 

* Erasmus was a consummate judge of preaching and preach- 
ers. Let us hear him. 

Doctospiito quotquot crediderunt evangelio. Cur enim indocti 
debeant appellari, quiy (tit nihil aliud,) e symbolo apostolonim didicc' 
nint illam ultramundanam philosophiam, qiiam non Py- 
thagoras aut PlatOy sed ipse T> -EI F11.IVS tradidit hominibus; qui 
a Christo doctl sunt, qua. via ad quern felicitatis scopum tendere. 
Ubicimque est vera sanctitas, ibi est magna philosophic 
minimeque vulgaris eruditio. Sed tamen inter hos egregie doctos ex- 
ceilujity qiiibus peculiar i Spirit us niunijicentid datum est, iit ad 
•Justitiam erudiant midtos ; qtdbiis Dominus dedit labia, 7ion in qui- 
bus ilia gentium Tru^a^ fiexaiiima, sed in quibiis ex unctione Spi- 
RiTUS diffusa est gratia cceLESXis. Erasm. Eccles, 


^ages from the liturgy, to shew that the public offices 
of the Church are duly regardful of the gifts and graces 
of the Holy Spirit. 

" In the daily service, we pray to God to grant us true 
<' repentance and his Holy Spirit — ^to replenish the King 
" with the grace of his Holy Spirit — to endue the Royal 
" Family with his Holy Spirit — ^to send down upon our 
" Bishops and Curates, and all Congregations commit- 
" ted to their charge, the healthful Sjiirit of his grace — 
" that the Catholic Church may be guided and governed 
" by his good Spirit^ and that the fellowship of the Holy 
" Ghost may be ever with us. 

" In the Litany we pray that God will illuminate all 
^' Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, with the true know- 
" ledge and understanding of his Word — will endue us 
" with the grace of his Holy Spirit, and that we may all 
" bring forth the fruits of the Spirit. 

" In the Collects we pray that God will grant us the 
^^ true circumcision of the Spirit, that our hearts and all 
" our members being mortified from all worldly arid 
" carnal lusts, we may in all things obey his blessed 
« ^yiij — that God will send his Holy Ghost, and pour 
" into our hearts the most excellent gift of charity — 
" that we may ever obey the godly motions of the Spirii 
" in righteousness and true holiness — that by his holy 
" inspiration we may think those things that be good, 
" and by his merciful guiding may perform the same — 
<' that God will not leave us comfortless, but send to us 
" his Holy Ghost to comfort us — that by his Spirit v/e 
" may have a right judgment in all things, and ever- 
" more rejoice in his holy comfort — that his Holy Spi- 
" rit may in all things direct and rule our hearts — that 
" he will cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the in- 
^' spiration of his Holy Spirit. 

" In the office for Confirmation, we pray for the per- 
^' sons to be confirmed, that God will strengthen them 


" with the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, and daily in- 
" crease in them his manifold gifts of grace, the spirit 
" of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel 
" and ghostly strength, the spirit of knowledge and true 
" godliness — that he will fill them with the spirit of his 
" holy fear — and that they may daily increase in his 
*' Holy Spirit more and more." 

The articles of original sin, free-will and justification 
evince that the Church of England maintains the doc- 
trine of light, sanctity, and life, deriveable from the ope- 
ration of the Holy Ghost, And there is a curious pas- 
sage in a book, written by Archbishop Cranmer and the 
Committee of Divines, entitled Mcessary Erudition for 
a Christian Man^ which fully declares, that " besides 
" many other evils that came by the fall of man, the 
" high power of man's reason and freedom of will were 
^' wounded and corrupted ; and all men thereby brought 
^' into such blindness and infirmity, that they cannot 
" eschew sin, excefit they be illuminated and made free 
*^ by an especial grace, that is to say, by a supernatural 
^' help and working of the Holy Ghost*.'* 

There can be no doubt, in the mind of an impartid 
inquirer, that the church teaches the doctrine of super- 
natural influence in plain and strong terms; and that it 
derives it from the holy scriptures. " For it is by the 
" Spirit of wisdom that our understandings areenlighten- 
^' ed: it is by the Spirit that we are rooted and grounded 
<^ in love, and that our souls are purified in obeying the 
'^ truth ; it is by the Spirit that we are called unto liber- 
" ty ; for where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty ; 
^^ in a word, it is by the Spirit that all our infimiities 

* This book was published by Henry VIII. 1543, and approved 
by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and the Lower House of Par-* 


^^ are helped, and that we are strengthened with might 
" in the inner man*." 

" Without me," says Christ, " ye can do nothing.'^ 
Our blessed Saviour opened the understandings of his 
disciples, that they might understand the scriptures. 
The Lord opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended 
to the things that were spoken of Paul. The natural 
man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God ; for 
they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know 
them, because they are spiritually discerned. That the 
God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may 
give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the 
knowledge of him, that ye may know what is the hope 
of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his 
inheritance in the saints. For God, who commanded 
the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our 
hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory 
of God in the face of Jesus Christ. — No man can say 
that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. — For by 
grace ye are saved through faith ; and that not of your- 
selves; it is the gift of Godf* 

If there be meaning in words, these passages evince 
the reality and necessity of internal illumination from 
the great fountain of light. And what says the homily 
of the church? " In reading of God's word, he most 
" profiteth, not always that is most ready in turning of 
'S the book, or in saying of it without the book, but he 
" that is most turned into it, that is, most inspired with 
<^ the Holy Ghost." In the same homily, a passage 
from Chrysostom is quoted to the following purport: 
" Man's human and worldly^ wisdom and science is not 

* Eph. i. 17. 1 Pet. 22. Gal. v. 13. 2 Cor. iii. 17. Rora. 
viii. 26. Ephes. iii. 16, 17. 

t John, XV. 5. Acts, xvi. 14. Ephes. i. 17, 18. 1 Cor. xii. 3. 
Luke, xxiv. 45. 1 Cor. ii. 14. 2 Cor. iv. 6. 


"needful to the understanding of scripture, but the reve- 
*f lation of the Holy Ghost, who, inspireth the true mean-' 
" ing unto them that with humility and diligence do seek 
" therefore." 

In the Ordination Office, the Bishop says to the can- 
didates for priest's orders, " Ye cannot have a mind or 
" will thereto of yourselves, for the will and ability is 
" given of God alone. Therefore ye ought and have 
" need to pray earnestly for the Holy Spirit. You 
" will continually pray to God the Father, by the medi- 
" ation of our only Saviour Jesus Christ, for the heaven- 
" ly assistance of the Holy Ghost.'* 

A great number of citations might be brought to 
prove that the doctrine of grace or supernatural assist- 
ance is established by the church in exact conformity 
to the scriptures * ; but it is not necessary to insist on a 
truth which is evident to every one who reads the Com- 
mon-prayer book and the Bible^ 


On the Means of obtaining the Evidence of Christianity^ 
afforded by the Holy Spirit* 

X NOW come to the most important part of my 
subject. I have produced, as I intended, the unexcep- 
tionable authority of great and good men, most eminent 
divines, to countenance and support me in recommend- 
ing, above all other evidence, the evidence of the Holy 
Ghost, to the truth of Christianity. After the suffrages 

* It never can be consistent with the character of an honest man 
solemnly to subscribe to the doctrines of g^ace, seriously to pray 
in the church for divine influence, and then to teach and preach 
against the whole doctrine. 


of such men in favour of this sublime doctrine, no man 
can justly call it heterodox or improperly enthusiasticah 
I could indeed cite many other most respectable autho- 
rities ; but I have already exceeded the just limits of quo- 
tation. It now remains to point out the means of ob- 
taining this evidence. 

Faith is the gift of God*. To the Giver only 
it belongs to prescribe the means of obtaining his boun- 
ty. He has prescribed the written Word and 
Prayer. Faith cometh by hearings and hearing by the 
Word of GoDf. But the whole tenor of the Gospel 
proves, that the written Word has not efficacy of 
itself to convince our understandings, nor reform our 
hearts; to produce either faith in God or repentance 
from dead works, without the aid of the Holy Ghost, 

Now the aid of the Holy Ghost is promised to 
prayer: " If ye," says our Saviour, ^' being evil, know 
" how to give good gifts unto your children, how much 
" more shall God give the Holy Spirit to them that 
"ask him?" 

The Holy Spirit, it appears from this passage, is the 
best gift, which the best, wisest and most powerful of 
Beings, can bestow, and he has promised it those 
who ask it with faith and humility. An easy condition 
of obtaining the greatest comfort of which the heart of 
man is capable, together with full evidence of the truth 
of Christianity. 

But do the inquirers into the truth of Christianity seek 
its evidence in this manner? Do they fall on their knees, 
and lift up their hearts in supplication? It appears rather 
that they trust to their own Jioiver^ than to the power of 
God. They take down their folios, they have recourse 
to their logic, their metaphysics, nay even their mathe-^ 

* Eph. ii. 8. t Rom. x. 7. 


mattes'*^, and examine the mere historical and extemal 
evidence with the eyes of criticism and heathen philoso- 
phy. The unbelievers^ on the other hand, do the same ; 
and, as far as wit and subtle reasoning goes, there are 
many who think that a Tindal and a Collins were more 
than equal to a Clarke and a Coneybeare. There is no 
doubt but that infidelity is diffused by theological contro-- 
verst/y whenever the illumination of the Spirit, the sanc- 
tity of the Gospel, is entirely laid aside, and the v/hole 
clause left to the decision of human wit and invention. 

He that would be a Christian indeed, and not merely 
a disputant or talker about Christianity, must seek bet- 
ter evidence than man, short-sighted as he is with the 
most improved sagacity, ignorant as he is with the 
deepest learning, can by any means afford. He must, 
in the words of the Psalmistf, " often his mouth and draw 
" in the Sftirit.'' The Holy Ghost will give him the 
SPIRIT OF SUPPLICATION I, whicli wiU breathe out in 
prayer, and inhale from him who first inspired the di- 
vine ftarticle [j, fresh supplies of grace. He must con-- 
tinue instant in ftrayer. This will preserve his mind in 
a state fit to receive the Holy Visitant from on high, 
who brings with him balsam for the heart, and light 
for the understanding. The result will be full evidence 
of Giiristianity, full confidence in Jesus Christ, joy and 
peace on earth, and a lively hope of salvation. What 
a sunshine must a mind in such a state enjoy : how dif- 
ferent from the gloominess of the sceptic or unbeliever; 
how superior to the coldness of the mere disputant in 
scholastic or sophistical divinity ! 

With respect to the efficacy of prayer in bringing 
down the assistance, the illumination of the Holy Ghost, 

* See Ditton, Baxter, Huet, and many others who undertake 
to demonstrate J almost gtometrically, the truth of the gospel, 
t Psal. cxix. 131. \ Zach. xii. 10. 

II Divinse particulam aur«e. Hor, 


not merely in teaching doctrinal notions, but in the actuail 
conduct of life', let us hear the declaration of Lord Chief 
Justice Hale, whose example I select, because he wa« 
a layman, a man deeply conversant in the business of 
the world, a great lawyer, and therefore may contribute 
to prove, that they who value themselves on their world- 
ly sagacity, and frequently consider the affairs of re- 
ligion as trifles, compared with the contests for property 
and the concerns of jurisprudence, need not, in the most 
active life and most exalted stations, be ashamed of the 
Gospel of Christ. 

" I can call," says he, " my own experience to wit- 
^* ness, that even in the extenial actions, occurrences 
" and incidents of my whole life, I was never disappoint- 
" ed of the best guidance and direction^ when in humility, 
" and a sense of deficiency, and diffidence of my own 
" ability to direct myself, or to grappel with the difficul- 
" ties of my life, I have implored the secret guidance of 
^* the divine Wisdom and Providence," 


Temperance necessary to the Reception and Continuance 
of the Holy Spirit in the Hearty and consequently to the 
Evidence of Christianity afforded by Divine llhnnina^ 

X HE Apostle says, Be not drunk with nvine^ 
roherein is excess; but be filled with the spinir*. The 
word cci76jrii){. in the original, here rendered excess^ corres- 
ponds with the Latin prodigalitas, which, in the Roman 
law, characterised the spendthrift and debauchee, inca- 
pable, from his vices, of managing his own afl'airs, and 

* Eph. V, 18. 


therefore placed by the praetor under the guardianship 
of trustees, M^ithout whose concurrence he could perform 
no legal act*. He was considered as an infant and an 
idiot. The words of the Apostle may then be thus para- 
phrased. " Be not intemperate in wine, because intem- 
" perance will destroy your reason, and degrade you to 
" a state of infantine imbecility^ without infantine inno- 
" cence-^ but be filled with the spirit; that is, let your 
" reason be exalted, purified, clarified to the highest 
*^ state by the co-operation of the divine reason^ which 
" canndt be, if you destroy the natural faculties which 
" God has given you, by drunkenness and gluttony*'* 

I think it evident, from this passage, as well as from 
the conclusion of reason, that all excess tends to exclude 
the radiance of grace. The mental eye is weakened 
by it, and cannot bear the celestial lustre t» 

That great master of reasoning, Aristotle, maintain- 
ed that pleasures are corruptive of jirincijilts {^■^cc^nx^cii 
rm oto^^v) ; and many of the antients were of opinion, 
that vice disqualified for philosophical pursuits, M^here 
the object was merely terrestrial and human, by raising 
a thick cloud round the understanding, which the rays 
of truth could not penetrate. It was for this reason that 
one of them maintained that " juvenis non est idoneus 
" moralis fihilosophiie auditor ;'*' that though youth is most 
in v/ant of moral instruction, yet, from the violence of 
its passions, and its usual immersion in sensuality, it 
was the least qualified to comprehend^ he does not say to 

* See Dr, Powers Sermon on the text. 

fW3, TO TJjj aXn^iiotg svoTTT^itrxcrB-ai jcolXXo?* As it is impossible 
for an eye, labouring under a malady which causes a defluction, 
to see clearly any very bright and brilliant object, till the impurity 
is removed; so if is for the mind, unpossessed of virtue, to reflect 
the beautiful image of truth, MkrocUs, in Prcef, ad P^tba^K 


adopt or follow, but even to understand^ the doctrines of 
moral j^hilosophy. 

One of our own philosophers*, who in many respects 
equalled the antients, justly observes, " That anger, im- 
" patience, admiration of persons, or a pusillanimous 
" over-estimation of them, desire of victory more than 
/^ of truth, too close an attention to the things of this 
^^ world, as riches, power, dignities, immersion of the 
" iN^iND INTO THE BODY, and the slaking of that noble and 
" divine Jire\ of the soul by intemperance and luxury ; 
" all these are very great enemies to all manner of know- 
" ledge, as well natural as divine." 

I therefore earnestly recommend it to every serious 
man, who wishes to be convinced of Christianity, to con- 
sider it in the morning \^ before either the cares of the 
world, or the fumes of that intemperance \\ which con- 
viviality sometimes ocpasions, blunt the feelings of the 
heart, and spreads a film over the visual nerve of the 
mental eye**. 

* Dr, Henry More. f Igi^eus itle vigor. 

\ Those that seek me early (mane) shall find me. Prov. viii. 

I I Si prasceptory homo, gravatur homini disciplinam bunianam 
committeref puta dlalecticen aut aritbmeticen, somnolento, oscitanti, 
dut crapula gravato/ quajito magis sapientia coslestis dedig- 
riabitur loqui voluptatiim hiijtis mundi amove temulentisj coelestiuni 
rerumneglectUy nauseantibus? ' Erasmus. 

** Verum hac impransus. Hor. 




On i?nfiroving' ^fflict'ions duly as a Means of Grace 
and Belief in the GosfieU 

A CELEBRATED divine*, on his recovery 
from a severe fit of sickness^ is reported to have said, 
" I have learned, under this sickness, to know sin and 
" God.'* He had studied divinity, during many years, 
with great attention ; he had prayed and preached with 
great ardour; yet he acknowledges, that till the afflic- 
tion of sickness visited him, he was unacquainted with 
those important subjects, sin and God; subjects which 
he had so frequently considered in private, and discours- 
ed upon before an admiring audience. 

It is good for me that I Iiave been afflicted^ said one, 
who had sinned egregiously in his prosperous days, and 
who v/a& rendered wise by affliction. 

AiPiictions, if suffered to have their perfect work, will 
certainly become the means of grace, cause belief in the 
consolatory gospel, and ultimately lead to salvation. 
The wandering mind returns, tike the prodigal son, 
when under the pressure of distress, to the bosom of its 
father. The kind father goes forth to meet it on its 
return, and the interview happily terminates in perfect 
love and reconciliation. 

More have been convinced of the truth of Christianity 
by a severe illness, a great loss, a disappointment t> or 

* Oecoiampadius. 

f Le moment de la grace, c^est une humiliation qui Dieu ^oua- 
envoicj et c/iii vous eloigne d\\ monde, parctque vous n^y pou^ctz plus 
paroitre a^^ec honneur. C'est la disgrace d^un maitre a qui ime lachc 
complaisance vous faisoii en mille rencontixs sacrifer les interets de 
voire conscience; le changeiieut d^un ami dont le commerce trop fre- 
quent vous entrainoit dans le vice CT* voiis y entretenoit. C'est une perte. 


the death of one whom the soul loved, than by all the 
defences^ proofs, and apologies which have ever been pro- 
duced in the most celebrated schools of theology. The 
heart was opened, and rendered soft and susceptible by 
sorrow, and the dew of divine grace enabled to find its 
way to the latent seeds of Christian virtue. 

Such being the beneficial effect of aiTiictions, it is 
much to be lamented, that many will not suffer them to 
operate favourably on their dispositions, and thus coun- 
teract, by the good they may ultimately produce, the 
pain which they immediately infiict. They fly from. 
solitude, they banish reflection. They drink the cup of 
intoxication, or seek the no less inebriating draft of dis- 
sipating pleasure. Thus they lose one of the most fa- 
vourable opportunities of i^eceiving those divine impres- 
sions which would give them comfort under their afliic- 
tions, such as the world cannot give ; and, afford them 
such ponviction as would render them Christians indeed, 
and lead to all those beneficial consequences of faith> 
wliich are plainly represented in the scripture* 


On Devotion — a Means ^ as well as an Effect^ of Grace — - 
no sincere Religion can subsist %vithout it. 

lYlANY theologists, who have written with the 
acuteness of an Aristotle, and the acrimony of a Juve- 
nal, against all sorts of infidels and heretics, in defence 
of Christianity, seem to have forgotten one very mate- 

de biens, une maladie, un chagrin doniestique, ou etranger ; ce sant 
c/e? souffrances ; touty hors Dieu, r/e^u/e/if amer; 07t netrouzepius 
de consclation qiie dans lui ; ilf rebtite des choses humaineSf on com' 
mence a G outer les choses du ciel. Bretonkeau. 


rial part of religion — that which consists of devotional 
sentiment, and the natural fervours of a sincere piety. 
Sonfie of them seem to reprobate, and hold them in 
abhorrence. They inveigh against them as enthusi- 
asm; they laugh at them as the cant of hypocrisy. 
Such men have the coldness of Bishop Butler, without 
the ingenuity; the contentious spirit of Dr. Bentley, 
without the wit or erudition. 

True religion cannot exist without a considerable 
degree of devotion. On what is true religion founded 
but on LOVE — the love of God, and the love of our 
neighbour? And with respect to the love of God, what 
says our Saviour? Thou shalt love the Lord thy Gcd 
with all thine heart, with all thy soul, and with all tliy 
mind, and with all thy strength. No language can more 
expressly and emphatically describe the ardour of devo- 
tion. Out of the heart the mouth speaketh. If the 
heart feels the love of God, in the degree which our 
Saviour requires, the language of prayer and thanksgiv- 
ing will be always glowing, and, on extraordinary occa- 
sions, even rapturous. 

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man 
availeth much: if it be not fervent^ it cannot be sincere^ 
and therefore cannot be expected to avail. Love must 
add wings to prayer, to waft it to the throne of grace. 

" Man has a principle of love implanted in his nature, 
<« a magnetism of passion*,'* by which he constantly at- 
taches himself to that w^hich appears to him good and 
beautiful; and what so good, w^hat so beautiful, as the 
archetype and model of all excellence ? Shall he con- 
ceive the image, and not be charmed with its loveliness? 

Worship or adoration implies lively affection. If it 
be cold, it is a mere mockery, a formal compliance with 
customs for the sake of decency. It is a lip-service, of 

* Norris. 


which knaves, hypocrites, and infidels are capable, and 
which they render, for the sake of temporal advantage- 
Will any man condemn the ardom^ which the scriptures 
themselves exhibit? Must they not be allowed to afford 
a model for imitation? And are;they written in the cold, 
dull style of an academical professor, lecturing in the 
schools of divinity? No; they are written in warm, ani- 
mated, metaphorical, and poetical language ; not with 
the precision of the schoolmen; not with the dryness of 
system-makers ; but with florid, rhetorical impassioned 
appeals to the feelings and in-iagination. What are 
PSALMS, but the ebullitions of passion, sorrow, joy, love, 
and gratitude? 

The truth is, that the most important subject wliich 
can be considered by man must, if considered with se- 
riousness and sincerity, excite a warm intertst. The 
fire of devotion may not, indeed, be equably supported, 
because such equability is not consistent with the con- 
stitution of human nature ; but it willj for the most part, 
burn with a clear and steady flame, and will certainly, 
at no time, and in no circumstances, be utterly extin- 

Where the heart is deeply interested, there will be 
eagerness and agitation. Suppose a man, who speaks, 
in the church, of the Holy Ghost, and other most im- 
portant religious subjects, with perfect scmg froid^ re- 
pairing to the Stock-exchange, and just going to make 
a purchase. The price fluctuates. Observe how he 
listens to his broker's reports. His cheeks redden, and 
his eyes sparkle. Here he is in earnest. Nature be- 
trays his emotion. It is not uncharitable to conclude 
that his lieart is literally with his treasure; and that 
with respect to the riches of divine grace, he values 
them little ; and, like Gallio, careth for none of these 
tkings. View him again, at a great man's levee, and 
see with what awe he eyes a patron. His attention 

118 C^RiriSAN PffILOSOPHr» 

approaches to adoration. He is tremblingly solicitous 
to please, and would undergo any painful restraint, 
rather than give the slightest offence. The world will 
not condemn, but applaud his anxiety; yet if he is 
earnest and fervent, when his interest is infinitely 
greater, in securing the tranquillity of his mind, under 
all the changes and chances of life, he is despised as an 
enthusiast, a bigot, a fool, or a madman. 

A man of sense and true Goodness will certainly take 
care not to make an ostentation of his devotional feel- 
ings ; but at the same time he will beware of suppressing, 
in his endeavour to moderate and conceal them. 

He will never forget, that the same sun which emits 
light, gives, at the same time, a genial heat, that enli- 
vens and cherishes all nature. 


On Divine Mtraction. 

J^HALL w^e believe our Saviour himself, or some 
poor mortal, who has learned a little Greek, Latin, or 
Hebrew, and upon the strength of his scanty knowledge 
of those languages, and a little verbal criticism, picked 
up in the schools of an university, assumes the pen of 
a Controversialist, and denies the evident meaning olF 
words plainly and emphatically spoken by Jesus Christ? 
Our Saviour says, in language particularly direct, '^ No 
^' man can come unto me, except the Father, which hath 
^' sent me, draw him," 

Faustus Regiensis, Wolzogenius, Brenius, Slichtin- 
gius, Sykes, Whitby, Clarke, and many others, endea- 
vour to explain away the meaning of the word draw, 


(Uxyirjj,) because they have taken a side in the polemics 
of Theology, against the doctrine of Divine Grace. 

But what have we to do with Faustus, Wolzogenius, 
Slichtingius, and the rest, when we have before us the 
words of Jesus Christ? By them it appears that there 
is an ATTRACTION in the spiritual world, as well as the 
natural ; and that the Spirit of God, a benign philanthro* 
pic Spirit, unites itself to the soul of man, and commu- 
nicates to it comfort, sanctity, and illumination. 

Men do not controvert the received systems of natural 
philosophy. They believe in the attraction of gravita-* 
tion, cohesion, magnetism, and electricity. But in this 
there is no visible agency, no sensible efflux, influx, or 
impulse. Yet they believe it, and certainly with reason ; 
but why should they think that God acts thus on matter^ 
comparatively vile, and leaves mind uninfluenced? Mz7id^ 
that pure, etherial essence, which must be said to ap- 
proach in its nature to Divinity, (if man can conceive 
any thing of Divine,) and which has an inborn tenden- 
cy to assimilate with its Hke. 

God, we are told in scripture, is love. But love 
always attaches itself to its object. It is not compati- 
ble with love to be selfish and solitary. It delights in 
assimilation. The spirit of that God who is love, still 
unites itself with man, for whom it has already shewn 
so much affectionate regard, in the creation and redemp- 
tion. It could not be consistent with the love and mercy 
of God to man, to leave him entirely, for ages, without 
any intercourse, any light, any communication, but a 
ivritten word, in a language unknown, unread by many, 
and which, without Divine interposition, might be cor- 
rupted by the wickedness of man, or lost by his negli- 
gence. God's Spirit, acting upon the soul of man, at 
this hour and forever, is a living, energetic and 
everlasting gospel. The promise of God's assist- 
ance by his Spirit, (as St. Peter assured the first con* 



verts to Christianity,) was unto them; and unto their 
children, and to all that were afar off*, their suc- 
cessors to the remotest ages, even to as inany as the 
Lord their God shotud calL 

Man must be attracted to God by the spirit of love 
in the Divine nature, or else he ceases to be in the Chris- 
tian system; and what may be the consequence to the 
soul in its aberration, is known only to him who know- 
eth all things. But surely every thinking mortal will 
gladly follow the Divine attraction,, since it gradually 
draws him from this low vale, where sin and sorrow 
abound, up to the realms of bliss eternal; and affords 
him, during his earthly pilgrimage, the sweetest solace. 

The human soul assimilating with the Divine, is the 
drop of water gravitating to the ocean, from which it 
was originally separated ; and cohering with it as soon 
as it comes within the sphere of its attraction ; it is the 
child clinging to the bosom of its parent ; it is the wan- 
dering weary exile hastening with joy to his native home. 
Let us endeavour to cherish an inclination for re-union; let 
us follow all the known means of accomplishing it, and 
it will be finally and completely effected by the Holy 
Ghost, the spirit of lovef* 

* Acts, ii. 39, 

t Let us hear a Heathen philosopher speak on the union be- 
tween God and good men. 

Inter bcnos viros ac Deum^ amicitia est^ conciliante virtute; anil* 
citiam dico? etiam necessitudo et similituda Seneca. 

t'SkJS^XAN PHiLOSOPnr. 131 


On the Difficulties of the Scripture* 

In his solis Uteris et quod non assequor, tamen adoro. 


If there is any thing in human affairs to be ap- 
proached with awe, and viewed with veneration, it is the 
WRITTEN WORD of revelation. Acknowledged sanctity 
and long duration combine to throw an air of divinity 
around it. It is worthy to be kept in the holy of holies. 
But I cannot agree with those zealous votaries who pre- 
tend either that there are no difficulties in it, or that they 
are all removable by the light of learning. I confess 
that criticism has removed many difficulties; but I am 
convinced that many still remain, which, I fear, will 
never give way to human sagacity. There they must 
remain, with all the majesty of clouds and darkness 
around them, till the sun of righteousness shall appear 
in his full glory* 

But shall difficulties cause disbelief? Are there then 
no difficulties in nature, as well as in the words of grace ? 
I cannot step into the garden or the meadow; I can- 
not cast my eyes to the horizon, without encountering 
difficulties. Yet I believe the existence of the things I 
see there, and I am led from the observation of general 
good, mixed with partial evil, to conclude, that verily 
there is a God. I conclude in the same manner, from 
what I do understand and know to be good in the gospel, 
that verily Jesus is the Christ; and that the parts of the 
gospel which I do not comprehend, are good, because 
those which I am able to understand are so beyond all 
doubt and comparison. 



All that is necessary to my happiness in the gospel is 
sufficiently clear. I learn there that the Holy Ghost 
is vouchsafed to me and to all men, now and till time 
shall be fio more. This I consider as the living gos- 
pel. This supplies all defects, if any there should be, 
in the written word ; and the dark and unintelligible parts 
of the gospel, surrounded by celestial radiance, become 
like spots in the sun, which neither deformits beauty, nor 
dnniiiish its lustre. I am not therefore offended by them ; 
I bow to them with reverence, as to sacred things upon 
the altar, covered with a veil from the eyes of mortal or 
profane intrusion. It is enough that I have learned, in 
the gospel, many moral truths; and this one great truth, 
that God Almighty^ at this moment^ pours an emanation 
of himself into the souls of all who seek the glorious gift 
by fervent prayer, and endeavour to retain it by obedi- 
ence to his will. It is enough : why need I perplex my 
understanding with searching into those secret things 
which belong unto the Lord; or acquire a minute, cavilling 
habit, which never can discover any thing of more im- 
portance than that which I already know; but which, if 
indulged presumptuously, may lead me to scepticism, 
and terminate in infidelity? Some parts of the holy 
volume are sealed : I will not to burst it open ; 
or vainly conjecture what these parts conceal. I will 
wait with patience and humility for God's good time. 
In the mean time I will rejoice; and my flesh shall rest 
in hope ; because I have been admitted to inspect the 
book, and have learned that the Spirit still attends the 
written word, ministering at this hour, and illuminating, 
w^ith the lamp of Heaven, whatever darkness oversha- 
dows the path of life. 

This persuasion adds new glory to the written gospel. 
It throws a heavenly lustre over the page. It is not left 
alone to effect the great purpose of men's recovery ; so 
that whatever difficulties or defects it may be allowed 


to retain, by the wise providence of God, the difficulties 
will be removed, and the defects supplied, so far as to 
accomplish the great end^ by the operation of the Holy- 
Ghost, which accompanies it in its progress down the 
stream of time, like the pillar of fire, attending the chil- 
dren of Israel*. 


7116 Omnipresence of God a Doctririe universally allow-* 
ed; but how is God every where p^resent but by his Spi* 
rit^ which is the Holt Ghos'T. 

Ovoiv Qwv Kivoy* 

Nothing is without Deity. Marc Antonix.. 

X HEY who maintain, if there be any such, that 
God having, about eighteen hundred years ago, signified 
his will to mankind, has ever since that time withdrawn 
his agency from the human mind, do, in effect, deny the 
omnifiresence^ and with it the omniscience, provideUGej 

* Oa-oi V161 uc-i rov ^earo^ y^ rvig iioCKonxg r^q xotiim ^iocB-n* 
aVii 61/ Ta Ttviif^ooiti ccy'iof, 0EOAIAAKTOI EISIN' avrvi yu^ 
71 ^oc^iq i7riy£^x(pii IV roit<; Koi^diactg oivrctfv revg vo^uovg tcv Trvgf- 
f^oclog' ovx. o^SiXovcriv ov9 ug racg y^oi^focg f^ovov rocg iiot fA^iXocvog 
yiy^ot.uuivxg 7rAj5^<j^d^2<3-flt<, otXXoi }^ iig rocg T^Xcctcxg rvig x-ot^- 
otocg n X^^ig rov ©gov ^yy^J^ (purovg v&^Qvg rov '7n>iv^ux]og ^ ret 
iTfov^ocvix (A,v^r,^ioc» — As many as are the sons of the light, and 
of the ministration of the New Testament in the holy Spirit, are 
taught of God; for grace itself inscribes upon their hearts the laws 
of the Spirit. They are not therefore indebted to the scriptures 
ONLY, the word written with ink, for their Christian perfection ; 
but the grace of God writes upon the tablet of their hearts the laws 
of the Spirit, and the mysteries of Heaven. 

Macarius in Homil. 15. 


and goodness of the Deity. But what say the scriptures? 
He is not far from every one of us; for in him 
we live, and move, and have our being*. 

But is it to be believed, that when he is thus intimate- 
h/ present with us, he either cannot, or will not, influ- 
ence our sentiments? Why is he thus present? or why 
snould he confine his agency over us to a little book, 
in a foreign and dead language, which many never see 
at all, which more cannot read, and which few can per- 
fectly understand; and concerning the literal meaning 
of the most important doctrinah parts of which, the 
most learned and judicious are to this hour divided in 
opinion ? 

The heathens t had more enlarged and worthier ideas 
of the divine nature. They indeed believed in supema^ 
tural agency on the mind of man; though they disgraced 
their belief by the absurdities of polytheism. Every part 
of the universe was peopled by them, with supernatural 
agents, and the most distinguished among them believ- 
ed their virtuous sentiments insfiiredj and their good 
actions directed by a tutelar deity. J dv/ell not upon the 
instance of Socrates's Demon |; and I only mention the 

* Acts, xvii. Sf. 

•f Ipse Deus humano genert mhiktratf^ ubique et onmibti^ 
prasto est. — God himself administers to the human race ; he is pre- 
sent every where, and to every man. Seneca Epist. 

^uocunque iejlexeris, Hi ilium ^cidebis occiirreiitem tibi. Nihil ah 
illo vacat. Opus suiim ipse implet. — Whichever way you turn, you 
will meet God. Nothing is without him. He fills his own wcrk 
completely. Senec. de Benefic. Lib. 4. Cap. 8. 

\ It is worth while, however, to insert the following fine pas- 
sage from Plato, in which Socrates asserts the necessity oi super- 
natural agency J in removing a dark cloud from the human mind, 
previously to its being able to learn how to regula'e conduct, eiLher 
towards gods or men. Reason, till this dark cloud should be re- 
moved by divine Providence, he thought incapable of discovering 
either morai or divme truth with ceriainty. 


topic, to prove that the doctrine is not likely to be very 
UNREASONABLE, since it was maintained by men who 
are acknowledged to have been singularly endowed with 
the rational faculty. 

The omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience of 
God v/ere strenuously maintained, not only by the wisest 
of the heathens, but the most learned and rational of 
christian divines ; among whom was Dr. Samuel Clarke, 
a man by constitution and studies as far removed from 
enthusiasm, as it is possible to conceive. But the omni^ 
presence of God being allowed as a true doctrine, it will 
not be difficult to believe his agency on the human mind 
by supernatural impression. The difficulty would be to 
believe that the divine Spirit could be present always 

§r(^, 00 l/COKc&lig; t^ rig o Trockiivtrav, — SliKP. ^vrog Wtf 

^r&) ^ cS 5g7v a'Z3'o rng "^v^g •zs'^cotov a^iXmoi, r^y *AKAY N, 
J vvv Turoc^^G-u, Tvy^dv2t^ r^,7]Vi>cxvr^ iiav} -^^oo'^i^av oi m f/iXMig 
yvdo(^l(r^oLi if^iv '^ kxk-ov TiOi ^ icr&Xov*^* vvv ^iv yaip iix, iv f^oi 
^o>cvig ovvYihivctt* Platonis Alcibiades II. j&roj6e Finem. — (Socra- 
tes and Alcibiades discourse. J S. It is necessary then to wait till one 
is informed how one ought to behave, both in religious and social 
duties, to God and to men. — A. O Socrates, when will that time 
come, and who shall teach me? — S. Even he who careth for 
YOU ; biTt it appears to me, as Homer represents Minerva remov- 
ing a dark cloud from the eyes of Diomed, that he might distin- 
guish gods from men in the battle, so he who careth for you 
must first remove the dark cloud from your mind, which now hangs 
over it, and then you will use those means by which you may know 
** the good from ill,'^ which, in your present state, you seem to me 
unable to distinguish. 

The philosopher seems to have seen the necessity of divine reve- 
lation, and to have predicted the illumination of the Spirit of God. 

L 2 


and every where with us, and yet never act upon us, 
but leave the moral world, after the writing of the New 
Testament, to depend on the fidelity of translations^ the 
interpretations of fallible men, the preaching* and teach^ 
ing of scholars, deriving all they know from dictionaries^ 
and differing continually even on such doctrines as con- 
stitute the very corner-stones of the whole fabric. 

The doctrine of God's total inaction, in the moral and 
intellectual world, is irreligious and unphilosophical. 
The wisest heathens exploded it. Fortunately it is re- 
futed in the strongest language of scripture. For after 
our Saviour's ascension, the Floly Spirit was expressly 
promised, and the ministration of the Spirit, co-ope- 
rating on the heart of man with the written word, is to 
continue its energy, as it does at this hour, to the end 
of time. 

The spirit of God is every where present, like the air 
which we inhale. It is no less necessary to intellectual 
life, than the air to animal. There is a remarkable pas- 
sage, apposite to the present subject, in the meditations 
of Antoninus, which I shall give in the translation of 
Collier, and as it is quoted by Delany. 

" Let your soul," says the philosopher, " receive the 
" Deity, as your blood does the air ; for the influences 
" of the one are no less vital than the other. This cor- 
" respondence is very practicable ; for there is an am^ 
" bient oMNiPRESENf spirit y which lies as open and per- 
" vious to your mind, as the air you breathe does to your 
'' lungs. But then you must remember to be disposed 
" to draw it. 

" If," continues Dr. Delany, " this gracious gift of 
" Heaven should be denied, because it is not found to 
" dwell with the wicked, I answer, that men may as 
" well deny the existence of the dew, because it is not 
" often found upon clods and filth, nor even upon grass, 
" trampled with polluted feet.. 


« Let the grace of God be considered as having some 
« analogy, some resemblance to the dew of Heaven; 
" the dew of Heaven, which falls alike upon all objects be- 
" low it, as the grace of God doth upon all mankind, but 
« resteth not upon things defiled. Purity abideth not 
" with pollution." 

There is an elemental fire, the electrical fluid, diffused 
through all nature. Though unseen, its energy is migh- 
ty. So also the Divine Spirit actuates the intellectual 
world, omnipresent, irresistible, invisible. 


The Want of Faith could not be criminal, if it depended 
only on the Understanding; but Faith is a Virtue, be- 
cause it originates from virtuous dispositions favoured 
by the Holy Spirit* 

JL AITH is always required and represented in 
the gospel as a moral virtue. This alone establishes 
the doctrine of this book, that faith, or the evidence of 
the Christian religion, arises from obedience to its laws. 
There could be no virtue infaith, if itwere produced in 
the mind by demonstrative proofs, such as many apolo- 
gists for Christianity have endeavoured to display. But 
there is great virtue in obedience to the moral precepts 
of the gospel. The heart must be well inclined that 
endeavours to learn and perform its duty from the dic- 
tates of the gospel, notwithstanding the doubts or disbe- 
lief which may occasionally arise in the understanding 
concerning the divine original of so excellent a rule of 
morality. Such an inclination draws dow^n upon it the 
favour of God, and consequently the illumination of the 
Holy Ghost. The doubts and disbelief are gradually 
i^moved. A life of piety and good morals. is the never- 


failing result. And thus faith both begins and ends in 

" The reason," says Dr. Clarke, " why faith (which 
" is generally looked upon as an act of understanding, 
" and so not in our power) in the New Testament is 
" always insisted upon as a moral virtue, is, because 
" faith, in the scripture sense, is not barely an act of the 
" understanding, but a mixed act of the will also, con- 
" sisting very much in that simplicity and unprejudiced- 
" ness of mind, which our Saviour calls receiving the 
" kingdom of God, as a little child, in that freedom from 
" guile and deceit, which was the character of Nathaniel, 
" an Israelite indeed; and in that teachable disposition, 
" and desire to know the will of God, for which the Be- 
" rssans were so highly commended, %vho searched the 
^^ scriptures daily ^ ivhether these things were true*^ 

This simple, teachable, unprejudiced state of mind is 
in itself amiable. It is pleasing both to God and good 
men. It is esteemed even by the wicked. It is pre- 
cisely the state in which the Holy Spirit delights, and 
w4th which he will make his abode, bringing with him 
comfort and illumination. To use the poet's words \ 

-He must delight in virtue ; 

« And that which he delights in must be happy.'* 

If indeed it were a moral virtue merely to believe a 
narrative on the credibility of the narrators, or the pro- 
bability of the circumstances, then would it be a moral 
virtue to believe a well-authenticated news-paper. But 
to believe the gospel requires purity and piety of heart, 
those lovely qualities which the imagination conceives 
characteristic of the angelic nature. It implies a dispo- 
sition which delights in devotion to God, and beneficence 
to man ; a disposition cheerful, tranquil, and which en- 
joys every innocent satisfaction- of this life, sweetened 
with the hope, that when the sun sets, it will rise in new 


and additional splendor. Faith, accompanied with hope 
and charity, constitutes the true Christian ; a li-ving image 
of virtue, and forming that beautiful model which the 
philosopher, wished, but despaired to see ; truth embo- 
died, VIRTUE PERSONIFIED, Walking forth among the 
sons of men, and exciting, by its conspicuous loveliness, 
an universal desire of imitation. 


Of the scripturcU. word '< Unction;'* its high mysteriotts 


HE very title of out Saviour (n^i:r» and XPI- 
2:t02) is the anointed; and the operation of the Holy 
Ghost is called in the sacred scriptures (XPISMA) unc- 
tion. This idea of the Chrisma pervades the whole 
doctrine of grace. 

" The anointing with oil," says Hammond, " de- 
" noted, among the Jews, the preferring one before 
" another, (and the Tar gum generally renders it by a 
" w^ord which signifies preferring or advancing.) and so 
** became the ceremony of consecrating to any spe- 
" clal office, and was used in the installing meato places 
^^ of any eminence." 

The word Chrisma^ or unction, was hence assumed 
to signify the act of the Holy Gb.ost, in consecrating 
those wiio are favoured by divine grace. The conse- 
quence of this UNCTION is illumination; for St. John 
says, " Ye have an unction from the Holy One, (the 
''^ Holy Ghost,) and ye (in consequence) know all 
^' THINGS*;" that is, all things that concern the naturQ 

• 1 John ii. ^Q. 


and EVIDENCE of Christ's religion. Again he says, 
" the anointing which ye have received of him (the 
" Holy Ghost) abideth in you; and ye need not that any 
^^ MAN teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth 
" you all things, and is truth, and is no lie; even as it 
" has taught you, ye shall abide in him.*" 

The idea of the Chrisma, I repeat, or unciion-\^ per- 
vades the whole doctrine of divine grace. It gives a 
name to him who brought down the great gift of the 
Spirit, and who himself had the hallowed unction 
%vithout 7neasure\; for what is signified by Christ, but 
the Anoint ed\\? 

I have introduced these observations on the name of 
Christ, partly with a view to expose the false learning 
of a French philosofiher^ who has attacked Christianity 
with singular artifice. The celebrated Mr. Volney af- 
firms, that Christianity is but the allegorical worship of 
the SUN — .a mere mode of oriental superstition, under 
the cabalistical names of chrisen or Christ, the ety- 
mology of which, according to him, has no reference to 
the chrisbia, unction, but to chris, an astrological 
name among the Indians for the sun, and signifying con^ 
servator; " whence," says he, " the Hindoo god, Chri- 
" sen, or Christna, and the Christian Christos, the son 
" of Mary."^ — Many of the French philosophers, and 
perhaps Volney, are unacquainted with Greek. 

But I hope the christian scholar will never give up the 
Greek etymology of the word Christ, evidently a trans- 
lation of the Hebrew Messiah; nor the sublime and mys- 
terious doctrine which it leads to, the metaphorical 

* 1 John, ii. 27. 

f Dieufait couler dans Vame jc nc scats quelle oxction qui la 
rtmplit, Bretonneau. 

\ John, iii. 34. U ku,t' t^ox^f* 

cffnisriAN PHiLosoPHr. 131 

nnointing of the Holy Ghost, the sanctifying, consecra^ 
ing, purifying influence of divine grace*. 


On nvhat is called by devout Persons Experif,nce in 



HERE is a peace of God, which passeth all 
understanding, and bailies all power of description. 
The flavour of a peach or a pine-apple is delightful to 
the palate, but words can give no idea of it to him who 
has never tasted them. There is a fragrance in a rose, 
which, while the nerves perceive it with complacency, 
cannot be communicated, in the slightest degree, by 
language. Such also is the heavenly manna; and he 
who would form a just notion of its exquisite sweetness, 
must taste it. No learning, not even the argumenta- 
tive skill of an Aristotle, can afford him the least idea 
of it, without actual sensation. 

u Were I to define divinity," (says the admirable 
author of Select Discourses,) " I should rather call it a 
*' divine life, than f a divine science ; it being something 

* Mr. Vclney fiiriher says, that " Yes us, or Jesus, was an 
•< antient name given to young Bacchus, the clandestine son of 
** the virgin, Minerva, who, in the whole history of his life, and 
*' even in his death, calls to mind the history of the God of the 
*' Christians ; that is, the Star of the Day, of which they are 
*< both of them emblems.'* Let us avoid the folly oi fanciful 
learning; and say rather that the Star of the Day is an emblem of 
of Jesus Christ, gloriously enlightening, and vitally warming, 
by his influence, the intellectual system. 

t Bishop Taylor and Mr. Smith coincide here, not only in sen- 
timent, but expression. 



" rather to be understood by a spiritual sensation, than 
" by any verbal description. 

" Divinity is a true efflux from the eternal light, which, 
*^ like the sun-beams, does not only enlighten, but heat 
*' 'and enliven. The knowledge of divinity that appears 
*' in systems is but a poor wax-light; but the powerHil 
*' ENERGY of divine knowledge displays itself in fiurlfied 
♦' soiils^ the true nsS^ov AAijS-gifit?*. 

^' To seek our divin* y merely in books and writings, 
" is to seek the living among the dead. We do but in 
" vain seek God, many times, in these, where his truth 
*^ too often is not so much enshrined as intombed. No; 
" intj-a te quaere Deum; seek for God within thine own 

soul. He is best discerned t ^f^^%^ iyroc(py}^ by an intel- 
*' hctual feeling* Eg-ti Sg '^v')cns otiB-Yio-tf r;?, the soul itself 
" has a certain feeling. % 

'' The reason why, notwithstanding all our acute rea- 
" sonings and subtile pursuits, truth prevails no m^ore in 
" the world, is, that we so often disjoin truth and good- 
" ness, which of themselves can never be disunited. 

^' There is a knowing of the truth as it is in Jesus; as 
<' it is in a Christ-like nature ; as it is in that sweet, mild, 
" humble, and loving spirit of Jesus, which spreads 
*' itself, like a morning sun, upon the souls of good men, 
" full of light and life. There is an inward beauty, life, 
" and loveliness in divine truth, which cannot be known, 
<' but only when it is digested into life and practice. 

" Our Saviour, the great master of divine truth, would 
^' not, while he was here on earth, draw it up into a sys^ 
" tern or body, nor would his disciples after him: he 
<' would not lay it out to us in any canoiis or articles of 
^^ belief, not being so careful to stock and enrich the 
^ world with opinions, as with true piety, and a godlike 

* The soil in which tb.uth grows ^xA flourishc*. 
^•i PJotinus. 


" pattern of purity, as the best way to thrive in all spi- 
^' ritual understanding. His main scope was to pro- 
" moie a holy life, as the best and most compendious 
" way to a right belief. He hangs all true acquaintance 
" with divinity upon the doing God's will. If any man 
" will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether 
" it be of God. This is that alone which will make us, 
<^ as St. Peter tells us, that we shall not be barren nor 
" unfruitful in the knowledge \ ': our Lord and Saviour. 

" There is an inward sweetness and deliciousness in 
<^ divine truth, which no sensual mind can taste or relish. 
" The '^vx^tKoq tftvjjp, the natural man savours not the 
*' things of God. Corrupt passions and terrene affec- 
*' tions are apt, of their own nature, to disturb all serene 
" thoughts, to precipitate our judgments, and warp our 
" understandings. It was a good maxim of the old 
" Jewish writers, that the Holy Spirit * dwells not in 
*' earthly passions. Divinity is not so well perceived by 
" a subtile wit, 6i(P7xng etiBncra »g;t«cS-<^^^£v»j, as by pure sen- 
^' sation." 

" He that will find truth, must seek it with a free 
"judgment, and a sanctified mind: he that thti9 
" seeks, shall find : he shall live in truth, and truth shall 
" live in him : it shall be like a stream of living waters 
^' issuing out of his own soul: he shall drink of the 
" waters of his own cistern, and be satisfied: he shall 
" every morning find this heavenly manna lying upon 
" his soul, and be fed with it to eternal life. He will 
*' find satisfaction within, feeling himself in conjunc- 
" tion with truth, though all the world should dispute 
" against him." 

The RuACH Hakkodesh, or Spirit of Holiness, dwells not v)itJ^ 
turbulent and angry tempers. 


154 eHRis*fiAN PHiLOSOPnr. 

Thus the heart of a good man will experience the most 
pleasurable sensations, when he finds, and find it he will, 
the pearl of great price ^ the living eriergetic gospel, lodg- 
ed, by divine grace, in the sanctuary of his bosom. He 
will he Jilled with all joy in believing; and thus experi- 
encing the eflncacy of the Christian religion, he can 
entertain no doubt of its truth, its divine original. The 
7'eal diflficulties and obscurities of the scriptures give him 
little trouble, much less the cavils of sceptics. He has 
the witness in himself^^ that the gospel is the word of 
Gody the incorruptible seed\ of holiness, and such felicity 
as the world never gave, and cannot take away. He 
cannot adequately describe his \ state. It is an un- 
speakable gift. He feels it; and is grateful. 

The excellent Norris, after having spent many years 
in the usual studies of academics, in logic, metaphy- 
sics, and other, what he calls, unconcerning curiosities, 
comes to the following resolution : 

^' I think," says he, " I shall now chiefly apply my- 
" self tp the reading of such books as are rather persua^ 
<^ sive than instructive ; such as are sapid, pathetic, and 
" divinely relishing ; such as warm, kindle, and enlarge 
^^ the interior, and awaken the divine sense (or feeling) 
" of the soul; as considering with myself, that I have 
" now, after so much reading and speculation, more need 
<^ of HEAT than of light. Though if I were for more 
^^ light still, I think this would prove the best method of 
" illumination; and when all is done, the love of God is 
<< the best light of the soul. For I consider with the 
" excellent Cardinal Bona, that a man may have 

* 1 John, v. 10. t 1 Pet. i. 23. 

\ Thomas a Kempis thus attempts to describe the happy 
state, imperfectly indeed, but devoutly : ** Frequens Christi visit a^ 
*< tio cum bomine interna, dulcis sermocinatio, giata con^olatio, multa^ 
** pax,'' &c. 


" knowledge without love ; but he that loves, although 
" he wants sciences, humanly acquired, yet he will know 
" more than human wisdom can teach him, because he 
" has that master within him, who teaches man know- 
« ledge*." 

If other students and teachers were to follow his ex- 
ample in this instance, there would be much more true 
devotion and sincere piety in the world; and few would 
be infidels, except among the desperately profligate, 
who harden their hearts, and cloud their understandings 
by habitual vice and intemperance ; who fear Christi- 
anity should be true, and therefore, with fool-hardy pre- 
sumption, resolve to deny it. 


On the Seasons of Grace* 

X HERE are times when the mind seems sen- 
sible of a peculiar serenity ; the understanding is clear 
to discern spiritual things, and the heart glows with 
sentiments of Christian piety and general benevolence. 
At those times, man appears to be exalted above the 
common level of mortality. All pure, ail peace, all 
love, all joy, his nature endeavours to soar above the 
earth, and to reach the source of all excellence. A 
sweet complacency, in those moments, diffuses itself 
over the soul, and an internal satisfaction is experienced, 
which no language can describe : but which renders him 
who feels it as happy as it is possible to become in a sub- 
lunary existence. 

These are the halcyon times which may be termed 
the seasons of grace; the seasons, when the God of 

* Via Compend, ad Beum, 


mercy, compassionating the weary pilgrim, sends down 
the cup of comfort to exhilarate and reward him ; dis- 
plays the lamp of heaven, to illuminate his path as he 
travels in the valley. 

These favours, as I firmly believe, are offered to all 
the sons of Adam who do not presumptuously and re- 
peatedly and knowingly offend the donor; for that man 
may grieve the Spirit and guenc/i the Spirit, we are told 
in the strong language of scripture. 

But a proper reception of this divine benefit will secure 
its frequency and continuance. Our own endeavours 
must be exerted with \igilance and constancy, to pre- 
serve the divine frame of mind which it may have pro- 
duced. Nothing can effect this but the avoidance of 
habitual vice and impurity, and the practice of virtue. 
But if, after all, there should be seasons of insensibility 
and coldness, it must not be concluded that the spiritual 
assistance is withdrawn in displeasure. For even in the 
darkest valley, an unseen hand can support and guide 
the pilgrim in his progress; and after the clouds shall 
have prevailed their time, the sun will break forth with 
all its warmth and lustre. 

It appears to me to be the first object of Christian 
PHILOSOPHY to secure the duration and frequent recur- 
rence of the seasons of grace. In order to accomplish 
this end, whatever conduces to the moral improvemxcnt 
of the heart must be pursued with ardour. The fine 
morality, discovered by the light of nature and the feel- 
ings of the heart, probably assisted, among the heathens, 
by divine interposition, may and ought to be called in 
to add something to the work of Christian improve- 
ment; for the best heathen ethics are founded on truth, 
and therefore immutably valuable. A state of grace 
without morality, I firmly believe, is not permitted by 
him who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. 


But the man who is blessed with the visitations of the 
divine Spirit, feels his heart spontaneously inclined to 
every thing that is lovely and of good report. Virtue 
appears to him amiable, and easy to be practised ; and 
vice disgustful, at once the pollution and the misery of 
his nature. All the angry passions subside in him ; the 
gentle and benevolent affections grow in their place, and 
man becomes what he was before the lapse of Adam, 
and what the gospel revelation was designed to render 
him, a being little lower than the angels. 


Of mistaking the Effects of Imagijiation for the Seasons qf* 

A HERE are many w^ho will scarcely allow the 
existence of any thing which they cannot subject to the 
notice of the senses. They must literally see the truth 
of every thing which requires their assent, or they will 
doubt its reality. To them, whatever is said on the sub- 
ject of a spiritual world, or an invisible agency oathe 
soul of man, appears to be the effusion of fancy, and the 
sick man's dream. 

And indeed the experience of mankind justiiies great 
caution in distinguishing between the actual operation 
of the Holy Spirit, and the delirious effects of a too lively 
imagination. The imagination heated by the devotional 
flame, has often kindled a destructive fire. It is indeed 
the parent of fanaticism, in all its extremities, and ail its 
evil consequences. As, therefore, the real agency of the 
Holy Spirit is to be invited and cherished, so the mere 
imagination of it is to be most studiously avoided. 

That the whole doctrine is not imaginary, is evident 
to him who reads and believes the gospel. Such opera- 

M 2 


tions are there plainly spoken of and promised as the 
greatest blessings to the human race. Their effects are 
described as great and sudden, in affording both comfort, 
holiness, and illumination. 

The reality of seasons of grace cannot be questioned 
but by him who at the same time questions the whole 
system of revelation. And a rational man, it is to be 
believed, will find no difficulty in satisfying himself that 
he is not deluded by his imagination, when he feels him- 
self particularly virtuous, pure, benevolent, and open to 
celestial influence. 

But as all men are not governed by reason, and none 
are governed by it uniformly, it certainly is probable 
that the delusions of imagination may often be mistaken 
for supernatural assistance. A few cautionary sugges- 
tions on the subject may not, therefore, be superfluous. 
Since it is possible that the best-intentioned may be 
thus deluded, let every man try his spirit by the fruits it 
produces ; not by a sudden or momentary fruit, but by 
the frequency and abundance of its productions. If it 
habitually produces peace, joy, purity, piety, and benevo- 
lence, let no man attribute it to his imagination ; but give 
the glory to God, and be grateful. 

But if it display itself in pride, self-conceit, and con- 
tempt of others, in acts of violence, in disturbing good 
order, in any behaviour which seems to argue an opinion 
oi peculiar inspiration from heaven, of a partial commis- 
sion, delegated to reform the world by irregular, uncha- 
ritable and offensive interposition ; if it pretends to visions 
and illuminations unexperienced by the best and wisest 
of men ; if it assumes the privilege of actually convers- 
ing IN PERSON with Jesus Christ, and talks of the hour 
and moment when the Holy Ghost rushed upon the 
bosom ; it is time to beware of the infatuation of a de- 
luded fancy. There is certainly every reason to believe 
that such a temper of mind is not from God. 


But it is folly and impiety to confound with these that 
sweet frame and disposition of mind, w^hich the scrip- 
tures describe as descending from the Holy Ghost, and 
which has indeed every mark of divine origin. 

He v/ho condemns the doctrine of divine agency on 
the mind of man as, fanciful, must, if he is consistent, 
include the whole of the Christian religion, and all that 
has ever been said or written in favour of it, under the 
same imputation. According to him, the fair edifice 
must melt away, like a palace of ice, when the sun of 
reason shines upon it. But we maintain that the true 
gospel, which is indeed the doctrine of grace, is the rock 
of ages. 


Of Seasons of Desertion^ or supfiosed Absence of the Sfiiritm 

X HERE are seasons in the lives of good men, 
when their sense of spiritual things is comparatively 
dull; and many, at these times, have been alarmed with 
an idea of being totally deserted by the Spirit, and have 
fallen into a state of despondency. But if there wxre no 
other proof that the grace of God is still vouchsafed to 
them, their uneasiness alone would evince it. While 
pain is felt, the surgeon apprehends not a mortification. 
But the alarm, it may be presumed, is, to the pious 
Christian, unnecessary. For it is certain that the visita- 
tions of the Holy Spirit are sometimes more sensible 
than at others ; and that when they are not sensible at 
all, its guidance and benign protection may continue 
unaltered. The light sometimes shines with a bright 
and strong effulgence, to guide us into the right way ; 
but while we are proceeding in it safely and regularly, 


and without an inclination to deviate, or immediate dan- 
ger of falling, the rays may be emitted less powerfully, 
because less necessary. The moment there appears 
danger of wandering or of stumbling, the lamp is ready- 
to shine with instantaneous radiance. Thus an infant, 
just beginning to walk, is guided by the parent's hand, 
watched with a parent's eye, and encouraged by the pa- 
rent's voice, and yet it is often perirdtted to go alone, 
without assistance or encouragement, in order to exer- 
cise its strength, and to give it a due degree of confidence. 
But the tender mother may still hold the leading-string 
unobserved by the infant, and, at the very first lapse, save 
the fall. The sun, though obscured by clouds, affords 
both light and warmth, guides mankind in all their ope- 
rations, and supports both animal and vegetative life. 

The mistaken opinion that ecstasy and rapture are 
always necessary to evince the presence of the Holy 
Spirit, has brought the doctrine into discredit among 
the sober and rational, and introduced much misery 
among the ignorant, the weak, and the fanciful. The 
sober and rational neither experienced such ardour with- 
out mtermission^ nor did they believe the nature of man^ 
as he is now constituted, capable of supporting it. The 
ignorant, the w^eak, and the fanciful, endeavouring ta 
raise themselves to a height which they could either not 
reach or not maintain, fell from disappointment to dejec- 
tion, and from dejection to despair. 

In truth, the influence of the Spirit rushes not like a 
continual torrent, but flows as a gentle river, which, in- 
deed, for the most part, displays its silver surface in the 
mieadows, but may sometimes conceal itself, without 
being lost, in a subterranean channel. 

While we retain faith, hope, and charity, and while 
we seek the favour of God in fervent prayer, we have 
every reason to believe that grace abounds in us, though 
we should not, for a considerable time, be favoured with 


the livelier experience of its immediate energy. If we 
persevere in a virtuous course, we may rest assured that 
God will, at all proper intervals, and for our reward and 
encouragement, shew us the light of his countenance. 

Let the pious Christian remember, that hope is placed, 
in the celebrated enumeration of Christian virtues, next 
to faith, and before charity. Let him, therefore, take 
care not to indulge the least tendency to such melan- 
choly ideas of desertion as may lead to despair. God 
will not behold a sincerely contrite heart, anxious to 
find grace, without affording it; and though, for wise 
purposes of trial, it is possible that he may not, for a 
short time, bestow it in its more sensible influences, yet 
there is every reason to believe, that he who sincerely 
grieves because he thinks himself less favoured by the 
Holy Spirit than usual, is, on that very account, in a 
STATE OF GRACE, and therefore safe. 


Of the Doctrine that the Operations of the Holy Spirit are 
NE VEJR distinguishable from the Operations of our own 

Ingenious and philosophical divines, desi- 
rous of discouraging, to the utmost of their power, ail 
fanciful pretensions to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, 
have boldly aflirmed that its influence is not to be distin- 
guished from the ordinary operations of the human mind. 
Their endeavour to prevent the evils of a wild imagina- 
tion deserves praise ; but they should be cautious of mis- 
representing the effects of divine agency, and denying 
truth, with a design of obviating error. 


From the plain and repeated accounts of scripture, it 
appears that this divine agency produces a very great 
alteration in the mind ; a much greater than could be 
produced by its own natural operations. It is God that 
worketh in you, saith St. Paul, both to will and to do of 
his good pleasure*. 

I speak with the utmost diffidence, when I say that 
it appears probable that such powerful energy is some- 
times distinguishable from the spontaneous operations 
of the mind. I am sensible that the doctrine may open 
a door to fanatical extravagance; but if it is the true 
doctrine, it ought to be maintained, whatever may be 
the consequences. 

The influence of the Holy Ghost is represented in 
scripture as consolatory. When a good man, in deep 
affliction, feels, in consequence of his prayer and devo- 
tion, a spring of comfort flowing upon his mind, such 
as no reasoning of his own, no external circumstances, 
no condolence of his friends could produce, is there not 
reason to believe that the influence of God's Holy Spirit 
is upon him, and that it is distinguishable from his own 
thoughts and imagination? The operations of his own 
mind lead only to horror and dismay; but a light rises 
up in the darkness ; and is it not easy to perceive that 
this unexpected radiance is the day-spring from on high ? 

When the pious Christian, employed in fervent 
prayer, finds himself full of holy joy and humble con- 
fidence, and feels his heart melt within him, overflow- 
ing with love of God and charity to man, is there not 
more presumption in attributing this state to the mere 
operations of his own mind, than to the God of spirits, 
actually dispensing that grace or favour which he ha^ 
promised, in the gospel, to the faithful? 

♦ PhU, U. X3. 


When temptations to sin assault with violence, and a 
man feels himself strengthened, so as to be able to over- 
come, at the very moment of his intended surrender, 
shall he erect the victorious trophies to his ovi^n virtue ? 
His own reason and resolution had betrayed him, the 
operations of his own unassisted mind tended to conces- 
sion; but God gave him strength from his holy place, 
and to God only is due the praise. 

Innumerable are the circumstances and situations in 
life, in which comfort, illuminations, protection, and 
strength are afforded in a degree and manner, which it 
is much more unreasonable to think could be produced 
by the mere operations of the mind, than that they were 
supplied by the author and giver of all good. 

In making the distinction between the operations of 
the Holy Spirit and those of the human mind, the wisest 
men will ever be obnoxious to mistake. The weak, 
wicked, and hypocritical may deceive themselves or 
others in it, to the injury or offence of many. But still 
the inconveniences of this perversion cannot entirely 
justify divines in their confidential and repeated asser- 
tions, that since the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, 
such as were bestowed on the apostles, have ceased, the 
operations of the Holy Ghost on the mind are in no in* 
stance or degree to be distinguished from its own opera- 
tions. These assertions approach nearly to an entire 
denial of the doctrine: a very dangerous and impious 

" * Kam si tota Dei actio consistit in clard e^angelii propositione, 
f* opportune facta, cur omnipotentia ad id requiritur ? ^ormm adJbi' 
<* bentur a Paulo magnijicie illce voseSf ad descrtbetidam, quamexe' 
** rit Deus in nobis, omnipotent i am, Eph. i. 18, 19. quum dicit esse 
'' V7Fi^l3c&XX*v fjt^iyi&og ^vvoif^ioifg el jcotrec rviv ivi^yuetv rov kpoC" 
^' royj ms fo-p^^vo?."— To assert that the power of God working 
" in us, differs not perceptibly from the ordinary power of nian.— 



Of devotional Feelings or Sent'imen'Ts. 

± HE pious devotee has exposed himself to the 
derision of the scorner, by talking of spiritual feelings 
which he could not accurately describe ; and the reality 
of which can never be proved by external testimony. 

But I know not v/hy the word feeling , which, in this 
age, is applied to all occasions, should not be applied to 
religion* The lover, the artist, the connoisseur enlarge 
upon the acuteness of their feelings in the contempla- 
tion of the excellence they admire. The man of deli- 
cacy is for ever boasting of his fine feelings, and the 
beautiful embarrassment which they create. The spec- 
tator in a theatre, the hearer at a concert, expatiates on 
the effect which the spectacle and the music have pro- 
duced on his feelings; and shall not he who contem- 
plates the universe, and adores the maker of it, and of 
those powers by which he both adores and contem- 
plates, shall not he be allowed to feelj and when his bosom 
glows with love, gratitude, and devotion, shall his pre- 
tentions to feelings be stigmatized as the delirious lan- 
guage of a wil^ mthusiasm? 

<< Annon hoc est actionem omnipotentem Dsi obscurare et in nihihnn 
*\ferme i'edigere? Turetin. 

It may here be asked, What man can judge infallibly of that 
which passes m the mind of another? Yet many rational 
divines dogmatically declare to their disciples, that it is impossible^ 
in any circumstances, to distinguish the energ}'- of God's grace on 
their hearts, from the common and natural workings of the pas- 
sions and imagination. This is to assume a power of discernment 
which belongs to him only, to ^'vjhom all hearts are open, and 
**- from ivhom no secrets are hidden,** 


The frigid temper of scholastic theology would deny 
the reality of every thing which, from^its own defect of 
sensibility, it never yet experienced. 

That the divine Spirit, operating on the mind, should 
cause in it a serenity, a tranquility, a comfort, which 
no words can express, is highly credible ; when a thou- 
sand inferior agents, or causes, are able to produce 
emotions of various kinds ; gentle or violent, painful or 
pleasing. But well-meaning divines, endeavouring to 
explode those extravagant pretensions to feeling^ which 
have deluded the vulgar, disturbed society, and driven 
many to madness, have denied the possibility of such 
SENTIMENTS, and attributed them entirely to the force 
of fancy, to folly, and to hypocrisy. They deserved 
praise for their endeavour to prevent evil ; but by ex- 
ceeding the bounds of truth in their censure, they pre- 
vented good at the same time. For their doctrines 
unintentionally taught men to neglect the benign sea- 
sons of grace, and to confound the holy assistance of 
heaven with the mere operations of the human mind. 
They allow that the scripture plainly speaks of heavenly 
influence; but they boldly assert, that it can never be 
distinguished from the ordinary actings of natural senti- 
ment, intellect, passion, and imagination. 

The word feelings, in religion, has been treated with 
such contempt and ridicule, that the truth is in danger 
of suffering, without a fair examination. Such is the 
force of words and prepossession. But let the word be 
changed to the synonymous term, sentiment, and 
then let any one object, with solid argument, to giving 
the name of religious sentiment to that pious, virtuous, 
pure state of mind, which is caused by the influence of 
the Holy Ghost, in the happy hour when God, in his 
mercy, showers it down, more abundantly tlian usual, 
on the human bosom. 



But, on this topic, great caution is required; formcn^ 
especially the ignorant and passionate, are prone to 
attribute their own dreams and emotions to demoniacal 
or celestial impressions. Such a persuasion leads to 
spiritual pride*, to a perseverance in error and vice, to 
cruelty, and to persecution. He who is acquainted with 
ecclesiastical history, will recollect many dreadful ex- 
amples of false feelings, and pretended inspiration. 
The deluded and deluding persons have represented 
themselves as prophets, new Messiahs, and even as 
God ; and what is more extraordinary, they have per- 
suaded many to believe them, and have conducted a 
willing multitude to whatever mischief their zealous 
hearts erroneously conceived. 

While, therefore, a conviction that there is indeed a 
religious sentiment^ or a divine ajid holy feeling^ which 
impresses the heart more forcibly than any argument, 
induces me to maintain so important a truth; I must, 
in the most anxious and importunate terms, express my 
desire that none may teach, and none submit to be 
taught, a belief, at this period, in extraordinary 

All spiritual pride, all cruelty, all persecution, are, in 
their nature, repugnant to the spirit of grace : and though 
they probably proceed from strong feelings, they are 
feelings arising from passion, fancy, and actual insanity. 
Whoever is under their influence, must have recourse to 
the SPIRIT OF GRACE, that his feelings or sentiments may 
become all gentle, benevolent, peaceable, and humble. 
If his extravagancies still continue to carry him to in- 
jurious actions and disorderly behaviour, application 

* F?,lse religion is always ostentatious. Its object is to be 
noticed, admired, revered. When we?? fa/;& of their fee LI^^GS, 
there is reason to suspect vanity, hypocrisy, or knavery. It is 
justly said, non est religio, ubi omnia patent. 


must be made to the physician, or, in cases of extremity, 
the civil magistrate. 

There can be nothing in tlie genuine sentiment, 
or feelings^ occasioned by the spirit of God, which is 
not friendly to man, improving to his nature, and co- 
operating with all that sound philosophy and benignant 
laws have ever done to advance the happiness of the 
human race. 



Of JS.7ithusias7n» 

liiNTHUSIASM is commonly used and under- 
stood in a bad sense; but if its real meaning* be attend- 
ed to, it may certainly admit of a very fine one. It 
means a consciousness or persuasion that the Deity is 
actually present, by an immediate emanation or im- 
pulse on the mind of the enthusiast; the reality of 
which, in certain cases, is the doctrine of the church 
and of the gospel ; a doctrine sufficiently consonant to 
reason, and not necessarily connected with self-delusion, 
folly, madness, or fanaticism. 

But because many have made pretensions to the pri- 
vilege of God's immediate presence in their hearts, 
whose lives and conduct gave reason to suspect that they 
wxre not thus favoured, the word enthusiasm, which, 
in common language, expressed their false pretensions, 
has fallen into disgrace, and now often implies no more 
than the idea of a bigot, or a devotee, weakly deluded 
by the fond visions of a disordered imagination. 

But let not enthusiasm of the better kind, a modest 
confidence of being assisted, as the gospel promises, by 

* EN 0EOS. 


the agency of the Holy Spirit, be involved in undeserv- 
ed disgrace.* We are taught that the Divinity resides 
in the pure heart. The belief of it is indeed enthusiasm, 
but it is enthusiasm of the noble, the virtuous, the neces- 
sary kind. The ardour vt^hicli it inspires is laudaible. Tike 
that of all other good things, the corruption and abuse 
of it is productive of great evil j but still it is not itself 
to be exploded. 

There is, indeed, a cold philosophy, which seems to 
discourage all the warm sentiments of affection, and will 
hardly allow theni in any thing which concerns religion. 
It aims at reducing theology to a scholastic science, 
and would willingly descant on the love of God, and the 
sublimest discoveries of the gospel, in the same frigidity 
of temper as it would explain the metaphysics of Ari- 
stotle* But there is a natural and laudable ardour in 
^he mind of man, whenever it contemplates magnin- 

* " Gratia immediata quails ab orthodoxls docetur, nihil 
*' habet co7nrmme cimi entpitszas7no, sed di'-oersimode ab eo differt. 

*' 1. EnthuciasniiLs novas queer it Re'velationes extra verbum ; sed 
" GRATIA IMMEDIATA nuUas, qiiia verbum semper comiratur, 
** iiec aliud agit, quam lit iilud merdi Imprimat^ 

** 2. In entbusiai>rnOy ohjecta qnce mentl imprimmitur non extrin" 
<f seciis advenituit, sed intus a Spiritu per arcanas impirationes sag- 
*' geruntur. Sed hlc objectiim supponitur semper extrinsecus adverare 
*' et ex ^oerbopcti. 

** 3. Enihiisias7nus fit per subitcs inotusj qui zpsum discursum et 
*' ratiocinationem anteiertitnt, et scspe exduduiit. Sed Spirit tis ope- 
*' ratio non excuidit, sed secuni trahit ratiocinationem et gratum 
<' vQlu7itatis consensum. • 

** Deniqzie, nc plura disLrimina jam persequamur^ entbusiasmus 
" non irfert cordis 7nutationem; et mentem afficity immutata 
<' Sixpe manenie voluntate; unde in impios etiam cadit, iit in 
" Balaamo et aliis msum; sed operatic gratisc 7iecessario in- 
*'Jert cordis mutationem ei sanctitatis studium." Turretin. 

This author here speaks of enthusiasm in its vulgar sense— 
which is certainly a disease j a mental fever, attended with, 

cffursriAN PHiLosoPHr. H9 

cent objects; and which is certainly to be expected, 
when that object is the Lord God omnipotent, and the 
human soul, the particle of Deity, aspiring at re-union 
with the Supreme Being, and meditating on immor- 

Is there not an ardour of enthusiasm which admires 
and produces excellence in the arts of music, painting, 
and poetry ? And shall it be allowed in the humble pro- 
vince of imitative skill, and exploded in contemplating 
the GREAT ARCHETYPE of all; the source of life, beauty, 
order, grandeur, and sublimity? Shall I hear a sym- 
phony, or behold a picture, a statue, or a fine prospect, 
with rapture, and at the same time consider God, who 
made both the object and the sense that perceives it, with 
the frigid indiiierence of abstracted philosophy? Shall I 
meditate on heaven, hell, death, and judgment, with all 
the coolness with which a lawyer draws a formal instru- 
ment, an arithmetician computes a sum, or a logician 
forms a syllogism in mood and figure ? 

Such coolness, on such subjects, arises not from 
superiority of wisdom, but from pride and vain philoso- 
phy, from acquired caloszty or natural insensibility of 
temper. God has bestowed on man a liveliness of 
fancy, and a warmth of affection, as well as an accu- 
racy and acuteness of reason and intellect; he has be- 
stowed a HEART vibrating with the tender chords of 
love and pity, as well as a drain furnished with fibres 
adapted to subtle disquisition. 

The scriptures aiTord many examples of a laudable 
and natural enthusiasm. My heart was hot within me^ 
sa:ys David; and the warm poetry of the psalms, the 
rapturous style of prophecy, are proofs that those who 
have been singularly favoured by God, were of tempers 
which the m.odern philosophers would call enthusiasti- 
cal. Their fire was kindled at the altar. St. John was 
a burning and a shining light. St. Paul was avowedly 

N 2 


of an ardent temper, and a glowing imagination ; nor 
did our Saviour himself express his sentiments in the 
cold language of the Aristotelian school, but with em- 
phasis and pathos. 

They who rail at enthusiasm, in general terms, and 
without making a due distinction between the scriptural 
and the false kind, consist either of those who laudably 
endeavour to discredit the pretensions of the hypocrite, 
and the weak brother; or of those who, from their spe- 
culative habits, their cold tempers, or irreligious lives, 
labour to discountenance all pretensions to an excellence 
and purity, which they never felt, and to which they 
could not rise. 

Whoever believes what the scriptures indisputably 
affirm, that the body is the temple of the Holy Spi- 
rit, and that he actually resides in it, when it i^ puri^ 
fied sufficiently for his reception, is so far an enthusi- 
ast : but let him glory in the appellation, for he is such 
an one as every Christian, who thinks and feels in con- 
formity to the gospel he professes, must be of necessity. 
If he denies the agency of the Spirit of God on the soul 
of man, he denies the most important doctrine of revela- 
tion, and must be a stranger to its finest effects on the 
human bosom. 

But since such is the c?.se, let those who very lauda- 
bly write against enthusiasm* of the false kind, take 
care not to confound truth with falsehood ; and not to 

* There is an old saying, " Give a dog ,an ill name, and they'll 
<* hang him." Thus also, give the doctrine of grace, though 
plainly evangelical, the name cf enthusiasm or method- 
ism, and a very great part of mankind will immediately explode 
it, without the slightest examination. 

The name cf methodists has been given to all the clergy, who 
preach or profess the doctrines of the reformation, as expressed in 
the articles, homilies, and the liturgy of the church, to which they 
have solemnly assented, in the presence of God and man. 


proceed to such an extreme in refuting the pretensions 
of hypocrites, fools or knaves, as to infringe on the 
genuine and sublime doctrine of grace, the glory of the 
everlasting gospel. 


Cautions concerning Enthusiasm, 

OO many and so melancholy are the effects of 
mistaken and excessive enthusiasm, recorded in the 
annals of mankind, that wise men are justly alarmed at 
every appearance of it, and little inclined to give it in- 

Whatever there has been of savage cruelty, v^hatever 
of public violence, and tumult, and confusion, the utmost 
extremes of all these evils, in all their consequences, 
have been equalled by the frantic extravagance of false 
enthusiasm. It has exhibited, in some tempers, all the 
symptoms of a malignant disease, and terminated, at 
last, in real and most deplorable insanity. 

If then it be v^isdcm to obviate the approaches of dis- 
temper, those men have evinced themselves wise, who 
have laboured to discourage, by all the arts of ridicule 
and argument, the earliest tendencies among the people 
to religious phrenzy. There are innocent follies, and 
there is a madness, which is only the object of compas- 
sion ; but the folly and madness of the bigot are detest- 
able, because they are destructive as a pestilence. 
Against such an enemy to human happiness, philoso- 
phy has urged her best reason, justice has unsheathed 
her sword, and the stage, to complete the triumph, has 
played all the batteries of derision* 


But argumentation, coercive force, and even ridicule^ 
have been found ineffcctuah All these are classed, by 
the bigot, under the term persecution, and persecution^ 
like a current of air, adds violence to fire. The gentler, 
the kinder, the more Christian mode of expostulation and 
rational concession, wherever concession can be made, 
#may, like a balsamic vulnerary, heal the sore which op- 
position would cause to rankle. 

I therefore do not deny the justice of the enthusiast's 
pretensions, who professes himself actuated by a belief 
that the Holy Spirit condescends to assist him in virtu- 
ous endeavours, by a sacred influence from Heaven. But 
I caution him against entertaining, for a moment, the 
presumptuous idea, that the same Spirit which assists 
him, does not, with equal readiness and efficacy, assist 
his pious neighbour also, and all sincere believers,, 
throughout Christendom, however distinguished by sect, 
church, or persuasion. 

I urge him to try his Spirit by the infallible touch- 
stone of scripture. Is it pure, is it peaceable, is it gen- 
tle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits^ 
without partiality, and without hypocrisy*? If it should 
be deficient in any of these amiable qualities, let him be 
cautious of indulging it, lest the Spirit should be of a 
diabolical, and not of a heavenly nature. 

And in what manner is he to form a judgment of him- 
self, since the heart is deceitful ; and to know oneself is 
the most difficult of sciences? If his high pretensions 
are accompanied with a bad life ; if he be disposed to 
contend with rancour and violence in support of his pre- 
tensions ; if he be disposed to involve all who think dif- 
ferently from him in perdi.tion; if he decry good works; 
and if, with every appearance of sanctity, and many ex- 
ternal acts of piety and benevolence, he reserves to him- 

* James, iii. 17. 


self some secret and favourite vice^ he may rest assured? 
that the Spirit which *actuates him is not from above. 

If he be inclined to neglect, despise, and revile decent 
and useful ordinances, such as are countenanced by 
scripture, and have a direct tendency to preserve peace, 
benevolence, and piety ; if he prefers himself to all regu- 
lar and learned ministers, whether in the establishment 
or out of it, and preaches to ignorant and deluded mul- 
titudes in the fields, with the air and voice of phrenzy, 
he may have just reason to fear, though he should have 
ten thousand in his train, that he has carried his preten- 
sions to the Spirit beyond that wisdom, moderation, e^nd 
love of order, which the author of our religion taught, 
both by precept and example. 

If, in his writings, he applies the scriptural language 
to himself, and assumes the authority of a primitive 
apostle ; if, at the same time, he expresses his ideas in 
such a manner as to excite the laughter and contempt 
of men of sense and approved goodness, he may infer 
that his spiritual pride has hurried him to the verge of 
insanity; and, as he values his health and happiness, 
should exert himself to remove the febrile symptoms, 
which are at once contagious and fataL 

When m.echanics, of confined education, and not re- 
markable for natural discernment, or peculiar virtue and 
goodness, think themselves better able to instruct the 
people, than a numerous class of their fellow-citizens, 
who have been separated, from their youth, for sacred 
offices, instructed in learning of various kinds, versed 
in the original languages of scripture ; the very idea im- 
plies so great a degree of pride and self-conceit that it 
cannot come from the gentle, unassuming spirit of Him 
who was himself meek and lowly, and who every where 
taught his disciples the lesson of humility. 

If such persons urge, in defence of their extravagant 
beh^^viour, their dereliction of their trades and daily 


labours, and their assumption of the priest's office, a 
particular call, from Heaven itself^ louder than reaches 
the ears of others, let them before they believe them- 
selves, or persuade others, produce, as a credential of 
their commission, a miracle. If they ilnd themselves 
utterly unable to do this, let them return to the work- 
shop and warehouse, renounce the deceitful spirit, and 
evince their attainment of the true, by humility, charity, 
modesty, and obedience to lawful superiors; by a study 
to be quiet^ and an attention to their own business. 

From such practices, and such persons as I have 
alluded to, has arisen much of the disgrace which has 
fallen on true and laudable enthimasm^ or that wisdom 
which is infused into the pure, gentle, and charitable 
heart from above. Fedse enthusiasm should be dis- 
couraged, that true religion may grow and flourish \ as 
the weed should be plucked up, to give room for the 
wholesome plant to strike root, and expand itself in 
foliage and blossoms, and produce good fruit in abun- 

Of being RIGHTEOUS overmuch. 


lT seems to be very doubtful, whether the scrip- 
tural phrase of being righteous overmuch^ signifies that 
sort of excess which methodists and fanatics are apt to 
indulge. I am rather induced to believe, that it means 
an extreme rigour in exacting from others an unerring 
rectitude. " Be not righteous overmuch ; why shouldst 
" thou destroy thyself?''* That is, " Establish not, by 
^' thy severity, a rule so strict as must, if put in force 

* £ccles. vii. 16. 


" against thyself, involve thee, imperfect as thou art, in 
*^ destruction.'* The prohibition seems to me to quad- 
rate with the old observation, that justice in the extreme 
is extreme injustice*. 

There are other interpretations of the words at least 
as probable as that which confines it to the over-sanctity 
of the methodist or bigot. 

The ingenious and pious Dr. Trapp has taken the 
words in the latter sense, and written, with great force 
of argument, against the extravagances of methodism. 
Perhaps the words of his text did not properly authorize 
him in deriving the doctrine from them which he has 
laid down ; but whether they did or not, I think he had 
reason on his side, when he endeavoured to explode all 
superstitious excesses which are subversive of true re- 
ligion, injurious to society, and painful to the deluded 
individual !• 

Philosophers, by the light of nature, discovered, in 
the earliest ages, the wisdom of avoiding extremes ; and 
no precepts are more common than those which recom- 
mend the golden mediocrity. These were undoubtedly 
suggested by actual experience, and a careful study of 
the human constitution. If they are just and proper, 
when applied to philosophy, there is every reason to 
think them equally so, when applied to religion, which 

* Sunimumjusj sunitna injuria. 

t " But let it be remembered, that no virtue has any blameable 
** EXTREME in it, till it contradicts the general end of religion, till 
'* it hinders the restoration of the din)i7ie Image in us, or 
** makes us less fit to appear among the inhabitants of heaven. 
*' Abstinencey temperance, mortijication of' the senses and passions, 
*' can have no excess till they hinder the purification of the soul, 
" and make the body less useful and subservient to it. Charity 
** can have no excess till it contradicts that Icve which we are to 
** have in heaven, till it goes beyond the command of loving our 
*' neighbour as we love ourselves, and till it forgets that our own 
<* life is to be preserved." Ansiver to Dr. Trapp's Discourse, 

156 CHRlS'fJA^i^ PHILOSOPffr* 

is the perfection of philosophy. Excess, in the very 
name, implies culpability, even when the things in which 
it appears are of a virtuous and laudable nature. 

So that whoever advances his virtues beyond the line 
©f rectitude, errs no less than he who stops, at an equal 
interval, on this side of it. Yet, at the same time, I 
must observe, that there is something far more noble 
and generous in errors of excess than of defect; and the 
virulence which has been shewn in refuting the poor 
methodist, who has been tormenting himself* with super- 
fluous austerities, seems to me to arise from a v/ant of 
good-nature and charity, far more criminal than the 
mistaken discipline of a zealous devotee. 

That part of the methodists who are sincere in their 
rigid self-denial, and in all the active and passive virtues 
of their persuasion, are certainly objects of kindness and 
compassion, rather than of severe animadversion. 

The church, and the protestant dissenters, it appears, 
teach the doctrine of grace ; a doctrine which, I believe, 
the methodists consider as of the first moment ; and for 
the sake of attending to which with more earnestness, 
they seceded from the church and meeting-house to the 
tabernacle. Their preachers, they found, were used to 
dwell upon that subject, more than on any others; and 
with a degree'of vehemence not usual or approved by men 
of more learning, moderation, and humiUty. They were 
caught by the sound, and taught to hate both the church 
and all regular ministers with a hatred truly unchristian. 
The church and the ministersf, it seems, were not sufii- 

* The poor Heautontinwrumeriosy with his pale emaciated figure, 
is certainly not an object of ridicule, and ought, at least, to he for- 
pvcHy by the plump pluralist and dignitary gorging the tithe pig, 
and washing it down with the choicest wines of Portugal and 

•j- When these become the mere tools of statesmen, (vide Sec- 
tion III) all religious people are offended, and one of the pillar* 
of the state is shaken. 


eiently holy for their purpose. The church and the . 
ministers did not preach the gospel in its purity; and 
neither its doctrine nor its discipline were sufficiently 
strict and severe. 

The dissemination of such ideas may answer the ends 
of self-appointed leaders, who wish to increase their im- 
portance, by drawing a multitude after them. Accusa- 
tion will generally be heard with attention. Pretensions 
to superior holiness is one of the most successful means 
of deceit. The niultitude are attracted by these, and a 
thousand other arts, co-operating with the natural ten- 
dency which they feel to superstition and fanaticism. 
They become self-tormentors; lose most of the com- 
forts, and neglect many of the duties of life. 

In the church, their favourite doctrine of grace ought 
to be inculcated in the manner which both reason, scrip- 
ture, and experience best approve ; for the doctrine of 
grace is most fully declared to be the doctrine of the 
church of England ; and if the ministers are reluctant to 
preach it in all its force, it is from a fear of falling into 
the sin and disgrace of o~vermuch righteousness • It is 
the humble endeavour of my treatise on this subject, to 
stimulate preachers to enlarge on the doctrine of grace; 
and by those means to bring back the numerous sheep 
who have strayied from their Hock. There is the sort 
of food in which the sheep will shew that they delight, 
if the shepherds will but bring it forth ; and indeed there 
is little doubt but that most of them do, on some occa- 
sions ; but if the sheep hunger and thirst after more than 
they receive, the good shepherd will not fail to open all 
the stores with which the scriptures abundantly supply 

With respect to doctrine, the over-righteous Chris- 
tian, as he is now called, will thus have no cause to 
complain of defect in the church; and with respect to 
moral discipline, it is very certain that self-denial; mor- 


tification, fasting, active beneficence, and all Christian 
perfection, is taught by the church and her ministers, 
with great force of argument and authority. Every 
Christian may carry the moral discipline of his religion 
to whatever lengths his conscience or inclination may 
urge him. 

It must be confessed, that such is the moderation of 
the church and her pastors in the present age, that 
the duties which they teach are not urged with that 
unnatural rigour which precludes the rational enjoyment 
of life. It is a cheerful church, and for that reason the 
more estimable. It requires no excessive austerity. It 
aims at assisting poor erring mortals in overcoming their 
weakness and misery ; but it does not add to them, by 
requiring the sacrifice of health, ease, peace, society, 
cheerfulness, and innocent gaiety. It does not con- 
demn those, with whom it cannot agree in opinion, with 
uncharitable severity. It is gentle and candid ; it is ac- 
commodated to such a creature as man, forever aiming 
at good, but, from weakness, continually relapsing into 
some degree of evil. It does not, like the severe sys- 
tem of the over-righteous, inflame and aggravate the 
wounds of its patients, but, with lenient balsamics, as- 
suages their anguish*. 

And if the over-righteous object that regularly-bred 
ministers want vehemence and eaniestness, I affirm that 
the objection cannot be imiversally well-founded. Men, 
having various degrees of talents, and various degrees 
of sensibility, will have a correspondent variety in their 
modes of delivery. The lively by nature, with very lit- 
tle sense of religion, may be animated in their dis- 
courses ; the dull by nature, with a meaning very honest 

* By the Church I wish to be understood all those who are 
united to Christ by the Holy Ghost, wherever they dwell, and by- 
whatever denomination they are distinguished. The World, ia 
the scriptural sense, consists of all who are not so united. 


and pious, will be poor orators. And it always hap- 
pens, in a very large body of men, that some are idle 
and irreligious; though circumstances may have led 
them to assume a profession where carelessness and 
impiety are doubly culpable. But such is the present 
state of human nature. He who demands more per- 
fection than experience has ever yet known, is unrea- 
sonable and over-righteous. If some men have less pre- 
tension, and less vehemence than those who are called 
the OVER-RIGHTEOUS, they have probably less hypoc- 
risy, less folly, and less spiritual arrogance. Over- 
righteousness, v/ith ail its pretensions to humility, is the 
parent as well as the child of pride. 

After all, let us remember that there is an under- 
righteousness (if I may use the term) as v/ell as an over- 
righteousness ; and that mankind are irxuch apter to err 
from defect than excess. While hypocrisy and fanati- 
cism are avoided, let us not, in the presei^t times, be 
alarmed at danger from excessive piety. 


.411 extravagant and selfish Pretensions to the Sjiirit to be 
anxiously avoided^ as they iiroceed from and cherish 
Pride ^ and are frequently accomfianied with Immorality. 

Ostentatiously to pretend to greater 

portions of the Spirit than others, is alone a very unfa- 
vourable symptom, as it is a presumptive proof of two 
w^ants, not compatible with the Spirit's benignant influ- 
ence : the want of humility, and the want of charity. It 
is no wonder, therefore, that those who have made such 
pretensions, have disgraced them by the wickedness of 
their lives; and have induced ill-judging men hastily to 


consider the whole doctrine of divine assistance as a 
mere delusion. 

Hypocrites, in fanatical times, when the appearance 
of extraordinary piety was conducive to advancement 
in wealth and honours, were sure to g^o farther in their 
pretensions, than the modesty of true professors could 
permit or excuse: but tliat deceitfulness of heart which 
produces hypocrisy, leads to all other bad conduct; and 
religion has been disgraced by the singular profligacy 
of ostentatious professors. 

Knaves of the very worst kind, v/ho have no other 
object than to avail themselves of the credulity of others, 
are likely at all times to put on a cloak and a mask, which 
may render them externally respectable, and facilitate 
their purposes of deceit. Nothing seduces the ignorant 
and unexperienced so easily as the appearance of extra- 
ordinary sanctity ; and nothing has been more frequently- 
assumed, for the accomplishment of ambitious and lucra- 
tive designs* When these designs have been accom- 
plished, the cloak and the mask have been thrown aside, 
as useless incumbrances, and the villain has stood forth 
in his proper shape and colour. 

Men of weak heads and v/arm hearts have proceeded 
to the most extravagant lengths in pretensions to sanc- 
tity; and at the same time, from the want of solid vir- 
tue, have fallen into deplorable sins. Their sins derived 
additional deformity in the eyes of the people, from the 
contrast of assumed sanctity ; and the world was ready 
to exclaim that all religion must be vain, if, in men who 
display so much of it, it contributes so little to wisdom 
and virtue. 

Great sinners, unwilling to tread the rugged road of 
virtue, have thought it an easier and pleasanter mode 
of avoiding the consequences of their enormities, to 
persuade themselves of sudden conversions, and pecu- 
liar favour from heaven ; and to compensate for inward 


impurity by outward sanctity, and for disobedience in 
things essential, by intemperate zeal in things indiffer- 
ent, formal, and merely ostentatious. 

Thus spiritual pride, want of charity, hypocrisy, 
knavery, folly, and extreme wickedness, have given 
rise to extraordinary pretensions to the Spirit, and veri- 
fied the observation, that the wickedest of mankind have 
been among those who displayed the appearance of good- 
ness and piety in the extreme. 

" The gradation has been,'' (says Dr. Trapp,) righte- 
" teous overmuch in practice — righteous overmuch in 
" practice and doctrine — immoral and profligate in both ; 
" and this still with pretensions to extraordinary niea- 
" sures of the Holi) S}iirit,'' 

But to what should a conviction of this truth lead the 
sober Christian? Certainly not to deny the doctrine of 
supernatural assistance, w^hich he finds in the gospel ; 
but to avoid all extravagance of pretension, all boasting, 
all over-righteousness, all preference of himself to others, 
on account of spiritual gifts, lest he also should find him- 
self deceived and a deceiver. 

The religion of Christ is of a retired and reserved 
nature. Its most important transactions are in the re- 
cesses of the heart, and in the closet. It loves not noise 
nor ostentation. Let him, therefore, who wishes to know 
whether he really has the Spirit, examine whether his 
virtues and good dispositions abound in retirement, and 
without the least parade whatever, or the smallest ap- 
plause or reward of men. If he does good privately, 
and avoids the eyes of admirers, I think he may enter- 
tain an humble confidence that he has Xh^ favour of God. 
He has, in consequence, a source of joy within hhn, 
which no man taketh away. He has the bread of life, 
and feeds on it in his heart by faith with thank'sgrving\ 
He is silently and unostentatiously happy, neither court- 
ing the notice of the world, nor regarding its unjust 



censure. He is particularly careful, that no ill-treat- 
ment shall cause him to violate the law of chai'ity. His 
chief concern is to bear and yet forbear; to be rather 
than to seem good. 


Affected Sanctity^ Demureiiess^ Canting^ Sour?ies8^ Ceri" 
soriousnessj ignorant and illiterate Preaching^ no marks 
of a State of Grace^ but contribute to bring the whole 
Doctrine of Divine Energy into Contemfit^ and ta 
disuse Infidelity^ 

JjlELIGION is lovely. Her voice is melodi- 
ous, and her aspect delightful. How has she been de- 
formed ! She has been taught to utter jargon with the 
hoarse croaking of the portentous raven, or to scream 
with the terrific bowlings of the bird of niglit. Her 
face has been changed from the face of an angel to a 
gorgon's head, surrounded with snakes. She has been 
rendered a bugbear, terrifying all who approach her, 
instead of a gentle nursing mother, inviting wretched 
mortals to her fostering bosom, by the tenderest blan- 
dishments of maternal love. 

Men of natural sense, improved by a learned educa- 
tion, and polished by all the elegancies of cultivated 
life, have turned from her, thus disguised as she ap- 
pears, with disgust and horror. They have devoted 
themselves to a seducing philosophy, and left religion 
thus disfigured, to the gross vulgar, whom they errone- 
ously conceived were naturally attached to the horrors 
of a cruel and gloomy, as well as a silly, superstition. 

Is it not desirable to vindicate Christianity from such 
dishonour? to shew that her most important doctrine. 


the doctrine of divine energy, leads to every disposition 
that is gentle, amiable, and beneficent; that it exalts, 
refines, and mollifies the human bosom; and while it 
kindles a lively and pleasant hope of future felicity, im- 
proves every real enjoyment of the present life ? Such 
a representation, and it certainly is a just one, must 
invite every man, who feels duly for himself or others, 
within the Christian pale. 

The spirit is a spirit of truth, and therefore must be 
adverse to all affectation of sanctity, all studied severity 
of aspect and demeanour, intended only to excite ex- 
ternal respect, and to impress on the spectators, oftea 
for the sake of interest, as well as from vanity, an idea 
of spiritual pre-eminence. The Spirit is a loving spirit, 
and therefore very unlike that of the sour, censorious 
pretenders, who condemn all innocent amusements, and 
think none capable of divine favour but themselves, and 
those who entertain their sentiments on points perfectly 
indifferent in the sight of Gcd, and of every reasonable 
man. The Spirit is a spirit of wisdom, which imphes 
a due degree of knowledge and abihty for every under- 
taking we voluntary engage in, and therefore cannot 
approve the preaching of illiterate persons, who are 
imacquainted, not only with the languages in which the 
scriptures are written, but often with their ov*^n; who 
are fitter to be catechumens than catechists; to sit 
at the feet of Gamaliel, than to usurp his chair. Learn- 
ing may not be requisite in the pious hearer, but is cer- 
tainly so in every one who assumes the ofiice of an in- 
structor. He is not an honest man, who professes and 
is paid to instruct others, without having exerted him- 
self to the utmost to procure a competent store of 
knowledge. The operations of the Holy Spirit, accom- 
panying his endeavours, may make a good Christian in 
his private capacity : may give him faith and knowledge 
sufficient for his salvation ; but they do not, since the 


time of the apostles, bestow a knowledge of languages, 
or qualify alone, without the aid of human learning, 
for a TEACHER of theology. 

The annals of suicide, if any such there were, and 
the registers of Bedlam, might bear witness to the mis- 
chiefs caused by fanatical mechanics, with strong pas- 
sions and imaginations, but of feeble and narrow intel- 
lects, wildly haranguing weak and aged men and women 
on their lost state, on their danger of eternal damna- 
tion, and a thousand other most awful matters, which 
at once puzzle the understandings, and dismay the 
hearts of the deluded multitude. True Christianity 
shudders at the sufferings of well meaning devotees, 
wantonly inflicted by ignorant zealots, seeking self- 
importance, and gratifying the pride of their hearts, as 
leaders of a wretched tribe, whom noise and high pre- 
tensions collect easily in every populous city, and in 
every poor neighbourhood, where the necessity of con- 
stant manual employment for the means of subsistence 
precludes all contemplation, and the improvement of 
judgment that might result from it. 

In compassion to these people, who deserve every 
assistance, because they certainly intend every thing 
that is good, though they do and suffer great evil, 
through defect of judgment, I wish the regular clergy, 
both of the established and dissenting church, to feed 
them with the food in which they delight—the heavenly 
majtina, the doctrine of grace. There is no doubt but 
that many of them do so occasionally; but I submit it 
to them whether it ought not to be a leading and prin- 
cipal topic in every discourse inculcating morality. I 
beg leave to suggest that evangelical preaching, in 
which the doctrine of divine energy must always make 
a very considerable part, w^ould keep their congregations 
from wandering after men, who have no other qualifi- 
cation for preaching but zeal, real or pretended ] zeal 


without knowledge, or a knowledge confined, superfi- 
cial, and unaccompanied with general charity or sound 
discretion. With al] their defects, they do, however, 
preach the doctrine of grace. The people know this to 
be the genuine doctrine of the gospel, and therefore 
they flock by tens of thousands to he^r it, regardless of 
the barbarism of the self-appointed orator, who leaves 
the loom and the last for the pulpit. 

The pearl of great price they estimate highly, how- 
ever rudely it may be set; but how much more would 
they prize it, if it weie set, adequately to its immense 
value, in the purest gold, by the hand of a master? If 
men of sound and extensive learning, of true taste and 
eloquence, were to recommend it, with all the beauties 
of proper language, the field-preacher w^ould rant in 
solitude and the tabernacle* would be as empty as most 
of the parish churches in London. To them I refer 
the inquirer, who wishes to know hov/ little the most 
decent and studied discourses on morality, or practical 
religion, avail to attract the people. Let him leave a 

* When one sees the multitudes that throng certain taberna- 
cles, where very weak men hold forth with scarcely any appar€;nt 
recommendation but effrontery, one is almost tempted to say on 
the occasion, " God hath chosen the fooUsh things of this world' 
<* to confound the wise ; and God hath chosen the weak things of 
** the world to confound the mighty, that no flesh might glory ia 
<* his presence." 1 Cor. i. 27. 

These things, says the haughty court divine, are calculated for 
the meridian of the vulgar. But let us hear Erasmus: ♦* HaCj inr 
** quatriy Plebeia, si pnestarent pro sua sorte principes, si in con" 
** cionibus inculcarent sacerdotesj si piicris ifistillarent liidimagistri, 
** potius quam erudita illa***; non sic perpetids pcne bellis 
*• tumultuaretur undiqiie res Christianitf non taniy ins ano studio p^ 
** fa^ nefasqiie coiigerendi di'oitias ferverent omnia; 7ion tot Utibiis 
<* ubique perstreperent sacra pariter ac prof ana. De?iique non titula 
** tantum et ceremoniis dijfercmus ah hts qui Christi Philoscj)hiaai 
*• ngn projitentur^^ 


while his books and library, and read the volume of 
real life. We have had enough of words, enough of 
systems, enough of controversy ; let us study and teach 
what is really and efficiently useful to the mass of the 
people, what improves human nature, renders life as 
comfortable as the condition of humanity will admit, 
and opens a pleasing prospect, (when life must be relin^ 
quished,) beyond the grave. 


Bishoji Lavington's Opinion^ respecting the Extrava- 
gancies and Follies of fanatical Preachers^ and Pr ex- 
tenders to the 8pirit. 

« Wherever I find great stress laid upon 
^^ some imaginary, insignificant, or unintelligible pccu- 
<' liarities ; the word of God turned into a conjuring- 
" book; the divine ordinances either lightly esteemed, 
" or imputed to the devil ; good works either under- 
" valued or trodden under foot; wild-fire dangerously 
" tossed about, instead of that light which came down 
" from heaven; puffing pretentions to extraordinary 
" revelations, inspirations, usurping the name of the 
<' Holy One ; with personal conferences with God, face 
" to face ; enthusiastic ranters, comparing themselves 
" v/ith prophets and apostles, if not with Christ himself; 
" the most wild and extravagant behaviour, the phren- 
" zies of a disturbed brain, or deluded imagination, the 
" effects of fits, of a weak head, or diseased body, all 
'' turned into so many tests and marks of saintship ; 


*' leaders; a spirit of envy, rancour, broils, and im- 
<' placable animosities, dashing each other in pieces j a 


*^ Spirit of bitterness and uncharitableness towards the 
"rest of mankind; a progress through immorality^ 
" scepiicism^ infidelity, atheism, through spiritual deser- 
" tions, DESPAIR, and madness, made the gate of per- 
" fection ; an imaginary nenv-birth to be brought to pass 
^' by means of real tortures, of some of the most 
" exquisite pangs and sufferings that can afi'ect human 
"nature; — I say, where these are found, and many 
" more equally horrible, one may easily discern a wide 
" difference between such a diofiensation and genuine 
^^ religion; as well as the bungling hands that are 
" substituting the former in the place of the othei% One 
'^ may easily see what strangers such inconsistent ram- 
" biers must be to the true devotion, as well as the 
" COMFORTS of a sedate, composed piety; to a firm be- 
" lief of our Maker and Redeemer, and a constant reli- 
" ance upon Providence; to a steady course of sincere, 
" habitual, and unaffected religion ; to the cherishing of 
'" a warm love of God in the heart, and well-tempered 
^' zeal for the truths of his inspired word; and all this 
*' PROVED by the love of our neighbour ; to a general 
" observance ^nd attendance on the means of grace, 
" and a well-grounded hope of glory." 

From the wretched follies of fanatics, the mind turns 
with complacency to the gentle benignant Spirit which 
guided a bishop Wilson, a Watts, a Doddridge, a Nel- 
son and a Home. . Such men do honour to the doctrine 
of grace, and rescue it from the contempt under which 
it has fallen through the extravagance of weak devotees, 
and the unhafipy ingenuity of scholastic theologists, ex- 
plaining away, to shew their skill, the strongest expres- 
sions of holy scripture. 



Pride the great Obstacle to the general Recejition of the 
Gosfiel of Grace* 

J\. PROUD, turbulent, and vindictive spirit is 
utterly incompatible with the spirit of Christianity ; but 
a proud, turbulent, and vindictive spirit constitutes what 
is called, in the world, a man of honour; and who can 
aspire at the distinctions and rewards which the world 
has to bestow, without aspiring at the character of a 
man of honour — without zealously maintaining it, in 
defiance of all which the scriptures have taught us to 
consider as the will of God? No wonder, then, that 
the genuine gospel the Spirit, which is first /zwre then 
peaceable^ gentle, and easy to be entreated, should be 
utterly neglected by those who are more solicitous about 
the opinion of a few weak and wicked mortals like them- 
selves, than about all that Christianity promises or 
threatens; who regard neither God nor man, when 
their own self-efitimation is in the smallest degree depre- 
ciated. Submission of the temper and understanding, 
^vhich is necessary for the reception of that evidence 
of Christianity which the Holy Ghost affords, is con- 
sidered as contemptible meanness, by those who are 
full of themselves, and live only to Jlatter, for the sake 
of being re-fiattered, in the circles of self-idolizing 

The doctrine of a participation with the divine nature, 
conceded by Heaven to the faithful and pious of low 
degree^ is highly mortifying to those who think the per- 
fection of human nature consists in civil nobility, in 
blood, or in titles conferred by an earthly monarch. He 
who shares the divine nature, who is favoured with an 
emanation of Deity, is truly ennobled; for his very 

cnBISriAN' PHltOSOPHr. 169 

nature is exaltttd above the ordinary rank of humanity ; 
and according to the gospel, he is become the living 
temple of the Holy Ghost. That a poor man, such as 
were the apostles, and such as are many true Christians 
in the present day, should possess a nature raised above 
whatever earthly honours can bestow, is a doctrine olTen- 
sive to all who have been taught to consider, as the chief 
good of man^ the gratification of the pride of life^ 

Scholars also, deep mathematicians, metaphysicians, 
and logicians, feel a sentiment of scorn, w^hen they are 
told that a plain, simple, humble peasant, whose mind 
is rightly disposed, may receive a portion of divine illu- 
mination, which shall contribute more to sound wisdom, 
and consequently to happiness, than all their minute and 
laborious disquisitions, Philosophy, towering, like Icarus, 
on wings made by the art of man, to the clouds, looks 
down with contempt on Religion, who associates with 
ignorant wretches, distinguished by humility of rank as 
much as by humility of disposition. Philosophy leaves 
the company of a personage so mean, and frequently 
passes from a contempt of her, to downright hatred and 

Thus pride is a chief obstacle to the reception of the 
doctrine of evangelical grace. Pride blinds the eyes of 
the understanding against the evidence of the Holy 
Ghost. Pride causes hardness of hearty a quality the 
most odious to the divine, and most injurious to the 

♦ The gentile or genteel philosopher too often hears with pain 
such sentiments of Christianity, as those of Erasmus in the fol- 
lowing passage : 

" Existimo purant illam Christi philosophiam non aliunde 
^'foelicius hauriri quam ex evangelicis librisy qucttn ex apostolicis 
«' Uteris; in quibus^ si quis pie philosophetur, orans niagis qudm 
•* ARGUMENT ANS, nihil csse, quod ad bominis felicitatem, nihil 
«* quod ad ullam hujus vitce functionem ferttJieat, quod in his non sit 
'* traditum, discusstim, et absolutumJ* Erasmus. 



human nature. It teaches us to behold our inferiors, 
not only as not of the same flesh and blood with our- 
selves*; not only as little entitled to the comforts and 
advantages of this life; but as unworthy of partakings 
with us in the divine favour, and the happiness of a glo- 
rified state. The doctrine of grace is considered by the 
men of the world as too great a leveller^ to be freely 
admitted consistently with their own ideas of exclusive 
privileges, or of worldly policy t« It must therefore be 
eriecl down^ wherever their authority can prevail j:. 

But surely their objection does it honour. It shews 
that the doctrine is favourable to the whole human race; 
that it is not narrow, partial, unjust; but, like the Author 
of all good, whence it flows, accepts not the persons of 
men, neither regards the transient and petty distinctions 
of rank, but shews favour to the meek and lowly, and to 
all that are good and true of heart, whether in the palace 
or in the cottage. 

* " Non animos et corpora nostra 

" Materia comtare putat, paribusqtie Elementis*^ Juv» 

What ! cries her grace — are then the sHvinisb herd 
Made of such flesh and blood as we ? — absurd ! 
Are souls like ours to vulgar wretches given ? 
I would not keep such company in Heaven. 

This spirit of pride is apt to conceive the multitude, the canaille, 
that is, the poor, to whom the Gospel was preached, as only food 


f Yet they should remember, that death is a greater leveller, 
and one whom no policy or power can escape. 

1 HoiM can ye believe, vjhich receive honour one of another ? 
John, V. 44. 

Men lean on reeds, when they rely solely on each other for 
happiness and honour. Indeed, what real honour can one poor 
lost creature receive from another, who is exactly in the same coa- 
dition, if without grace? 

Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glo»y of God, 1 Cor. 10. 


Take comfort, ye poor and despised brethren; for 
God, by his gospel, has promised to bestow on you 
riches and honours, dm^able as they are solid, and such 
as no earthly power can confer or alienate : and would 
to Heaven that they, who trust in v/orldly riches and 
honours, could but behold it in a true light, their real 
poverty and dishonourable state, when destitute of grace, 
or, in other words, the favour of the Almighty Sove- 
reign, the Lord of Lords, and the King of Kings*. 


T/ie universal Prevalence of the Holy Sjiirit — the Genuine 
Gr^ace of the Gospel — highly conducive to the-Hap/wiess 
of CIVIL SociETr^ as well as of Individuals. 

xT alvvays appeared to me an absurdity, that men 
should act in their corporate capacity on such principles 
as, in their individual and private state, they would deem 
profligate. Public acts are the acts of private men ; and 
wherever public acts are immoral, it may be concluded, 
that those who sanctioned them in a body, are, as sepa- 
rate members, insincere friends of virtue, and hypocri- 

* Kescit religio nostra penonas accipere, nee conditioner bominum, 
sed anlmos inspicit singulorum. Ser^um ac nobllem de moribus pro- 
nunclat. Sola apud Deum libertas est nan ser^virepeccatis. Summa 
apud Deus est nobilitas clarum esse virtutlbus. 

Hieronymus ad Celantiam, Ep. 14. 

Greg. Naz. in Orat. 11. 

fty^^e;. Idem, in Orat. 23. 


tical professors of religion. Offensive war, and treache- 
rous violation of the most solemn treaties, could never 
be countenanced by whole nations of Christians, if the 
individuals were actuated by the sentiments of true 

It has been said, that we are not to look for the effects 
of Christianity in national acts or public councils. Why 
not? are they not men and Christians, who perform 
national acts, and compose public councils? When a 
man gives a vote for any public measure, or advises the 
supreme magistrate, does he drop the Christian in the 
voter or the counsellor? Common sense revolts at the 
idea of the same men's renouncing their identity, split- 
ting themselves into several characters, and acting in 
one inconsistently with their most serious duties and 
solemn engagements in another, which, at the same 
time, they profess zealously to support. Misery unut- 
terable arises to the human race, from this duplicity. 
The sanctity assumed in one character throws a false 
glare and varnish over the villainy practised in the other, 
and makes it pass current by authority. 

A man who is a real Christian, not a political con- 
formist only, will be a Christian in his public conduct, 
as well as in his private. He will be a Christian states- 
man and member of parliament, no less than a Chris- 
tian father, husband and neighbour. 

Now, no man is a Christian in name only, when his 
Christianity arises from the operation and evidence of 
the Holy Ghost. His very heart is converted. The 
whole man is renewed. He is no longer a proud, selfish, 
cruel being, greedily seeking his own fancied gra- 
tification, at the expence of other men's happiness, but 
guided in all his conduct by the sentiment of love. The 
law of kindness governs all his actions. His wisdom is 
gentle; and he uses pov/er, if h^ possesses it, in imita^ 


tion of the all-powerful being above, in diffusing bles- 
sings to all who are within the sphere of his influence. 

Suppose, then, kings, and rulers of all descriptions, 
under the benign operation of the Christian spirit, and 
consequently firm believers and defenders of Christiani- 
ty. Unnecessary wars immediately cease. The pro- 
phecies of Isaiah are accomplished. Swords and spears 
are converted into pruning-hooks and plough-shares. 
The lion dandles the lamb, without an inclination to 
devour it. 

The people, feeling the blessings of such govern- 
ment, and actuated by the gentle aifections of charity, 
become cordially attached to it, and to each other. 
Universal tranquility reigns. The whole society, both 
the governed and governing, co-operate in adding to the 
comforts and diminishing the evils of life ; piety to God, 
and love to man, display the vital efficacy of the gospel, 
and prove that it is not a cunningly devised fable, in- 
vented by priests for the support of kingly power, but 
the lively energy of God, actuating the human bospm, 
and restoiing man to that perfection of nature by the 
second Adam, which was lost by the disobedience of the 
first in Paradise. 

The truest patriotism, therefore, is to revive or dif- 
fuse genuine Christianity; to teach men to seek and to 
find the grace of God through Christ Jesus. This is 
the philosophy which should be taught from the chairs 
of our universities, and the pulpits of our churches. 
It would not then fall to the illiterate and fanciful me- 
chanic, who often disgraces it, not only by ignorance 
of all other science, but too often by a violence of pas- 
sion and malignity of temper, which seem to evince 
that he does not possess what he so warmly recom- 
mends to his audience. 

Christianity is so far from unfitting man for society, 
as tlie caUimniators have said, that its graces and vir- 

y 2 

174 CHRISrixlN PHILOSOPffr, 

tues are peculiarly social. It teaches every thing that 
is just and kind. It is the false, mistaken, hypocritical, 
and, above all, the political Christianity, which has 
been the cause of mischief and misery. This has ever 
been used as a cloak for maliciousness. But where the 
Spirit of God, the living gospel of immediate grace, 
goes hand in hand with the written gospel, there every 
thing lovely, friendly, and beneficial, is the natural and 
unavoidable result. The root is good, and the fruit 
delicious and salubrious in the highest degree. May 
the tree spread its umbrageous branches over the land, 
and all the people take refuge and seek solace under its 
expanded foliage! The throne that is established in 
righteousness is fixed on the rock of ages; and the 
people who have the Lord for their God and King, 
$liall never know the woes of captivity and desolation. 

Christian philosophy purifies society by purifying 
the fountain of all human actions, the heart of man* 
Heathen philosophy often consists of nothing more than 
Jine sayings^ pleasing to the imagination, but leaving 
the heart uninfluenced and the conduct un reformed. 

Some of those heathens, who wrote the finest moral- 
ity, it is well known, practised, and even obliquely re- 
commended with all the charms of wit and eloquence, 
vices which deorrade man below the brute. 


Of IlclinesS'^its true Meaningyand absolute JVecessity. 

X-<ET a man's mind be holy, and he will not doubt 
one moment of the truth of Christianity. It is not enough 
that it be learned or sagacious ; it must be holy ; and 
then the more learned or the more sagacious, so much 


the more firmly will its belief be fixed, and so much 
the better enabled to extend the faith. Bacon, Boyle, 
Locke, Newton, Milton, Addison, Lord Chief Justice 
Hale, possessed intellects as vigorous as ever fell to the 
lot of human beings ; but they were educated Jdously as 
well as learnedly, according to the manners of their 
times. They lived holily; the Spirit of Grace took early 
possession of their hearts, and they became not only 
believers but defenders of the faith. Not to their learn- 
ing, but to their holiness, be the glory. They saw God 
by the eye of faith, not of philosophy. 

There is one qualification, without which we shall 
never be admitted to the favour of God, or to celestial 
felicity in the mansions of future glory, and it is holi- 
ness: without this, we read, no man shall see the Lord. 
Follow PEACE with ALL TYieri^ and holiness^ without which^ 
no man shall see the Lord** 

No words can be plainer, and more express than 
these* A question naturally arises in the mind of every 
thinking man, in what consists this quality, which is in- 
dispensably necessary to securing the beatific privilege 
of enjoying the divine presence? What is holiness? 

The excellent Joseph Mede informs us, that " sanc-^ 
" tity^ or holiness, imports discrimination^^ — or distinc- 
" tion from other things by way of exaltation and pre- 
^' eminence. "t 

God himself is originally, absolutely, and essentially 
holy; man, only by communication. 

* Heb. xii. 14. 

f Thus Kimchi, on Isaiah, Ivi. 2. 

«< To sanctify the sabbath, is to separate it from other days." 

•* Because all words of sanctity import a thing separated from 
«* other things by way of pre-eminence or excellency." 

Joseph Mede. 


Holiness I therefore understand to be that state, m 
which God vouchsafes to man his holy spirit, and 
discriminates him from those who, rejecting his offers 
of grace, presumptuously adhere to the world and its 
vanities; who neglect religion entirely, and who live 
without God in the world, despisers of his grace. To 
be holy, is to be i^fined, by the Spirit of God, from 
the corruptions of the world ; to be aefiarated from sin 
and impurity, like the metal from base alloy* 

He, therefore, who would see the Lord^ must, by obc' 
dience, seek the manifestation of the Spirit, by prayer 
obtain the divine assistance, and thus be admitted to a 
participation of the divine nature: according as his 
niviNE POWER hath given unto us all things tliat pertain 
vnto life and godliness^ through the knowledge of him that 
hath called tis to glory and virtue; whereby are givers 
unto us exceeding great and precious promises^ that by^ 
these we might be partakers of The divine nature^ 
having escaped the corruption that is in the world 
through lust*. 

The happy state of holiness constitutes the true dig- 
nity of human nature. This at once purifies and ele- 
vates it. The man who possesses it, enjays this world 
with calm complacency, whMe he rises superior to it^ 
and hopes for a better ia reversion. He acts rightly, 
yet never rigidly ; he always temf>ers justice with kind- 
ness and mercy ; his whole behaviour is gentle, flowing 
from an internal principle of benevolence. The fear of 
God and the love of man operate on his heart as the 
main springs of all his activity. To express his con- 
duct in scripture language, he does justice, loves mercy,, 
and walks humbly with his God. 

Behaviour thus* amiable and beneficent is the surest 
proof of holiness. Great pretensions, sanctimonious. 

♦2^Pet. i.4 


deportment, a rigid observance of external ceremonies, 
and a pertinacious adherence to particular doctrines, 
are all consistent with an unholy state, with self-deceit, 
and with hypocrisy. But he who is kindly aficctioned 
to his fellow-creatures with brotherly love; he who is 
unost^ntatiouslii pious, and displays the fruits of the 
Spirit by good works, he can entertain little doubt of 
SEEING God; seeing the truth of his word, and enjoy- 
ing his presence in the living temple of his heart, thus 
consecrated by the influence of the Holy Ghost. 

A delightful serenity attends that state of holiness, 
which arises from an humble confidence in God; such 
as would render it devoutly to be wished for, if its con- 
sequences extended only to the pleasurable enjoyment 
of this life. It causes our journey to resemble a pas-, 
sage through those charmmg countries, where the air 
is genially soft, the sky clear, and the prospect varie- 
gated with every beauty of nature. The cold^ shiver^ 
ing, self-dependent mortal, who walks through the 
world all solitary, who has not God for his friend and 
companion, may be compared to the forlorn savage, 
prowling for prey far from the solar be^im, in tlie 
regions near the pole. How would he rejoice in the 
warm sunshine and sv/eet serenity of an Italian climate ! 

Of a good Heart* 


HE most desirable treasure vrhich a human 
being can possess, whether he has regard to his own 
happiness or lo those around him, is a good heart. 
In every situation, and under ail circumstances, this 
will furnish a store of sweets which the wicked cannot 


obtain ; and delicious though it is, would not relish, so 
vitiated is their taste. A good heart communicates 
liberally the pleasures it enjoys; blessed or blessing in 
every emotion. 

But what constitutes a good heart? The grace of 
God operating upon it* The mild, gentle, healing 
spirit of the gospel; or, to use the language of scrip- 
ture, the UNCTION of the Holy Ghost, molHfying its 
hardness, and preserving it from corruption*. This it 
is which forms a good heart, and a good heart is a land 
of Canaan to itself, a land flowing with milk and honey. 

All the irascible passions are, in their excess, diabo- 
lical. They are the fruitful sources of misery. They 
w^ould unparadise the garden of Eden, and turn the 
cheerful light of Heaven into gloomy darkness, like the 
shadow in the valley of death. There is in the world 
much natural evil ; there are pains, and diseases enough, 
to wean the heart from the immoderate love of it; but 
none of them are productive of wretchedness so great 

* Beautiful is the description which Laclantius gives of the 
elFect of Christianity in meliorating the disposition. I will tran- 
scribe his words : 

" Da mihi *virum, qui sit iracu7idiiSf maledicusy effr(Rnatiis .- pan- 
*^ cissimis Dei verbis ta7n placidutn quam o'oem reddam. Da ciipi- 
*' diiniy avaruTfij tenacem: jam tibi eum liberalem dabo etpecuniam 
** suam plenis manibus lai'gientem. Da crudelefn et sanguinis appe- 
<< tentem,' jatn in veram dementi atn furor ille mutabitur. Da inr^^t 
*^ jiistuvrii znsipie?item, peccatorem: continuo et cequiis et prudens et 
«* innocens erit. Uno enim Lavacro malitia omnis abolebitur. Tanta 
<* Di VI N3e SAPIENT ise 1)/* e^f; ut in hominis pectus diffusa , ma- 
*'^ trem detictorumy stultitiamy uno semel inipetu expellat ; ad quod 
" efficiendum, non mercede, non lib) is, non iucubrationiaus opus est.'-^ 
** Gratis ist a fiunty facile t citof modo pateaat aures et pectu&;'> 
«< SxVPiENTiAM sitiat; num quis bxc pbHosophorum aitt iinquam 
** pr.estitit aut prcestare potuit?^^ Lact. Inst Lib. ii. C. 26. 

Thus appears the superiority of Christian philosophy^ 
in a moral view, o\'^er all other philosophy. Lactantius had been 
^ heathen philosopher, and speaks experimentally. 


and difficult of cure as the malignant passions of pride, 
envy and revenge. These estrange man from man, 
and convert the haunts of human creatures into dens of 
of foxes and wolves. Cheats, calumniators, robbers, 
murderers, in all their variety and degrees of flagitious- 
ness, are characters naturally flowing from hearts 
unsoftened, unenlightened, unhallowed by the Spirit of 

But behold the Christian. Gentleness and sweet- 
ness beam from his eyes, and illuminate his counte- 
nance with a mild lustre. Good humour predominates 
in all his demeanour. He has no concealed rage rank- 
ling in his bosom ; he has no sinister and selfish views, 
under a studied openness of countenance. He converses 
with a generous frankness. His bosom is transparent. 
You are perfectly safe with him. He will serve you, if 
possible, as well as please you ; but he will never injure 
you purposely, or give you the smallest pain. He feels 
complacency in all the good he sees around him, and 
delights in augmenting it. His treasure is within him. 
His interest is in Heaven. His ambition is for objects 
above the world ; so that nothing in it is of value enough, 
in his estimation, to tempt him to resign the tranquility 
of innocence, to renounce the pleasures of a friendly 
and benevolent disposition. He has all the ingenuous 
simplicity of the infantine age, and you delight in him, 
as in the harmless babe, who sports around you, and 
expresses his pains and pleasures according to the die- 
Itates of uncorrupted nature. 

Such is man, when his natural asperities are smooth- 
jcd, and his inborn bitterness sweetened by the benign 
operation of celestial influence. Compared with the 
mere natural man, he is an angel. Is it not desirable 
thus to raise human nature, and thus to improve society; 
thus to render the earthly existence almost an anti- 
cipation of what our imperfect imaginations picture 

180 CnmsTlJN PHIL0SOPU7\ 

of the heavenly? Heathen philosophy cannot effect it. 
Heathen philosophy is confined to a few, in comparison 
with the myriads that compose the great mass of human 
beings: who weary themselves in pursuit of happiness 
on this terraqueous globe. The experiment has been 
tried by the philosophers of all ages, and failed. But 
religion can effect it. Yet what religion? A religion 
founded on historical faith, and heathen mythology? 
No; it must be a vital religion — a divine influence on 
the heart, which is plainly promised and hnnounced in 
the glad tidings of the gospel. This is the true ewan- 
gelion^ or good news*, to the human race- It is authen- 
ticated by the written gospel, and there is a witness 
within us which renders it unquestionable. Happy 
they who have obeyed the voice which commands, say*- 
ing, " My son, give me thy heart l"t When the heart 
is devoted to Christ, the understanding will make no 
resistance to his doctrines, but humbly acknowledge the 
most inexplicable mysteries to be above, yet not contrary 
to reason. 

* What NEWS was it to mankind to tell them what Pythagoras, 
Socraties, Epictetus, Cicero, and many others, had told them 
before — the expediency^ of moral virtue, justice, temperance, for- 
titude ? The glad tidings were the announcing the comfort and 
assistance of the Holy Ghost, redemption, pardon, peace, and 
the resurrection. This was an euangelioriy or acceptable message 
brought from heaven by him who had the spirit without 
MEASURE* (John, iii. 34.) Except your righteousness exceed tJjc 
righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees j ye shall in no case enter 
into the kingdom of heaven. Matth. v. 20. But the righteousness 
(or morality) of the heathens was that of the Scribes and Phari- 
sees. It was the righteousness of the law, not of the gospel, 
f Proverbs, xxiii. 26. 



On tJw superior Morality of the Christian Philosophy* 

JL HE operation of divine grace being no other 
than the melioration of our hearts, the purifying of the 
very fountain of our actions, it must of necessity lead 
to the practice of virtue, or, in the language of scrip* 
ture, to GOOD w^oRKs. It is a gross calumny to say 
that the true doctrine of grace is unfavourable to moral- 
ity. It inevitably produces every thing that is lovely 
and useful in social intercourse. The Holy Spirit's 
residence in the heart is inconsistent with vice and 
malevolence. It requires, indispensably, both personal 
purity and social love: and they who endeavour to 
obtain it, must begin and persevere in the practice of 
every moral virtue. 

The love of God and mankind are the two main 
springs which actuate every Christian, who is regen- 
erated by grace. 

The love of God was not enforced by heathen philo- 
sophy. The love of man was indeed frequently, though 
feebly, recommended; but at the same time, many- 
dispositions of mind were held honourable, and worthy 
of cultivation, which are often inconsistent with the love 
of man. Such are valour in offensive war, revenge, love 
of glory, and of conquest. 

The love of God must have the most favourable in- 
fluence on moral conduct ; for no obedience is so perfect 
as that which arises from aifection. It is the alert, 
cordial, sincere obedience of a dutiful child to a tender 
parent. It anticipates his will, and is desirous, in its 
honest zeal to please, of going even beyond the line 
prescribed by parental authority. 


And what is the love of God, but the love of good- 
ness, purity, rectitude? Love not only admires, but 
endeavours to imitate, the object of its affection. The 
love of God, therefore, produces a conduct as godlike 
as the condition of infirm humanity can admit. Hence 
St. John says, very strongly and truly, '' This is the 
" LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments*.'* 
It is a natural and unavoidable consequence of loving 
the supreme perfection, that we imitate the quaHties 
in which it consists — purity, justice, mercy, every thing 
that we can conceive of permanent goodness and beauty. 
Such is the first hinge of Christian morality. 

And the second resembles it, in its benign effects on 
human nature, and the state of society. 

It is the love of our fellow-creature; not merely 
FRIENDSHIP, which is often founded only on petty in- 
terest and mutual amusement; but universal philan- 
thropy, extending even to enemies. Every man under 
the operation of this liberal affection, is considered and 
cherished as a friend and neighbour. We are taught 
to love them as ourselves, and to do to them as we wish 
they should do to us. 

This extensive law of love is peculiar to our law^- 
giver, the blessed Jesus. He calls it a new command- 
ment. He makes it the distinguishing characteristic of 
the gospel. He proposes his own example, to enforce 
obedience to it. " This is my commandment," says he, 
" that ye love one another as I have loved youf." 

But neither the love of God nor the love of man will 
exist in our hearts, in a due degree of ardour or since- 
rity, without the divine influence. The natural man 
loves the world and himself too well, to admit, what- 
ever he may pretend or profess, affections so liberal, 
sublime, and disinterested. He loves Mammon more 

« 1 John, v, 3. t J^i^ XV. 12. 


than God; and as for the love of his fellow-ci*ea- 
tures, he wears a false appearance of it, a studied 
politeness, courteousness, and affability, for the sake of 
availing himself of their assistance in gratifying avarice, 
ambition, and the love of pleasure ; but he hates, envies, 
or utterly neglects, all who contribute neither to his 
sordid gain, nor to his personal gratification. Grace 
alone can soften and liberalize his contracted bosom. 
Grace alone can render him sincerely, secretly, and 
impartially virtuous; and the best Christian is the best 
member of civil society. 

Let him who doubts the excellence of Christian 
morality, read our Saviour's sermon on the mount, 
with the discourses formed upon it by Blair*, Blackall, 
and other great divines of the English church. He 
will be struck with its pre-eminent beauty and utility. 
Indeed the whole body of English sermons founded on 
the gospel, exhibits a system of morality which the 
world never saw before, and which would never have 
existed without the evangelical code. I earnestly re- 
commend to general perusal Bishop Gastrell's little 
book, intitled. Christian Institutes. 


The true Genius and Spirit of Christianity productive of 
a certain Tenderness of Conscience, or feeling of Rec^ 
titude^ more favourable to right Conduct^ than any 
Deductions of unassisted Reason^ or heathen Morality* 

xjl man, rightly disposed by the influence of 
genuine Christianity, becomes a law unto himself, in all 
circumstances and situations. A divine temper, 

* James Blair, M.A. President of William and Mary College 
in America. 


superinduced by divine energy on the heart, produces 
right conduct, just as a tree grafted with a kindly scion, 
brings forth fruit both delicious and salutary, under the 
natural operation of showers and sunshine. 

A true Christian has constantly impressed upon his 
mind a sense of God's presence, and a conviction that 
he is responsible to his Father in heaven for all his con- 
duct. This keeps him in awe, mixed with love. He 
fears to do wrong, not with a servile fear, but an affec- 
tionate reverence for his all-powerful friend, who has 
shewn him great favour, and at the same time required, 
in return for it, obedience to his injunctions, as a condi- 
tion of his continuance. He loves God from his heart; 
an affection, which comprehends in it the love of every 
thing that is good in moral conduct, every thing pure 
and holy in his own person, every thing beneficent to 

The residence of the Holy Ghost in the (Christian's 
heart increases his moral sensibility. He sees with 
greater acuteness the good and beautiful* in behaviour; 
he feels with additional vivacity the emotions of benevo- 
lence. It gives him pain, it does violence to his very 
nature, thus sublimed, to act basely, unjustly, unkindly. 
He knows that the divine principle within him will not 
inhabit a polluted shrine; but will take off^encef and 
depart, if the temple be profaned by immorality. 

Casuistry, or long and abstruse reasonings on the 
moral fitness or unfitness of actions, are totally unne- 
cessary to the man whom the heavenly teacher has 
instructed. His determinations admit not such cold 
delay or doubtful hesitation. His heart turns, like the 
needle to the pole, with tremulous, yet certain propen- 
sity, to the point of rectitude. From the infirmity of 

t Mes ddicata est Dei Spiritus. Tertull. 


human nature, and the violence of temptation, he may 
decline a little to the right or to the left; but the attrac- 
tion to Heaven and virtue still acts upon and prevents 
his total aberration. Touched by heaven, he acquires 
Si kind of polarity, which causes him to point thither 
without any inclination to deviate. 

Hence he is above the schools of the heathen moral- 
ists. He displays that superiority which Jesus Christ 
most justly claims over Socrates. Yet he may enjoy the 
beautiful compositions of the antients, if his education 
has enabled him to understand them. He may be 
pleased and instructed with their fine observations on 
life and manners, and the great advances they made 
in ethics, by the light of nature. But though he may 
derive great benefit from them, though he may be both 
informed and advised by them, yet he sees them defec- 
tive, and finds that they are not absolutely necessary to 
accomplish the Christian, who, by the written word of 
scripturc, accompanied by the Spirit's ministration, be- 
comes sufficiently enlightened for the practice of the 
purest morality, and wise unto salvation. By Christian 
philosophy, he experiences not only illumination, but 
assistance: he is taught the way that he should go, and 
led by the hand in his journey. 

I conclude, then, from this tender sensibility to right 
and wrong, and this propensity to kindness, which the 
supernatural agency of the Spirit causes in the heart, 
that true Christianity, such as is founded on the vital 
influence of the Spirit, makes the best moralists, the 
most useful and worthiest members of society. And 
as Christian philosophy is attainable by all, and not 
confined to the rich or the learned, it appears to me, that 
even politicians, who consider only the prosperity and 
peaceof nations, would evince the highest wisdom, in first 
cultivating it themselves, and th^n encouraging it, by 
all prudent modes, among the people. 


When a whole community shall become, by the 
preaching of evangelical doctrines, and the examfile of 
the great ^ subject to the power of conscience, warmed 
with the love of God, and all mankind, '^ just and good, 
" true and sincere, meek, humble, tender-hearted, ami 
" compassionate, content, temperate, pure, and hea- 
" venly-minded, then will men become each a lav/ to 
" himself," and all civil government will be greatly faci- 
litated, while the general happiness is secured without 
wars and fightings, without tumult and discord, without 
capital punishments, without any of that severe coercion, 
which creates partial evil for the sake of the general 

Such a state, it will be said, is chimerical and Utopian. 
I fear, in the present corruptions of Christianity, it may 
be visionary. But every approach to it is desirable, as 
it is an approach to the happiness and perfection to 
which man is formed to aspire ; a^d therefore, it will 
behove all those who possess power, not for sordid pur- 
poses, but the general good, to hasten and extend the 
reign of grace. They should say with heart as well as 



Tfie great advantage of Christian Philosophy being taught 
by a commanding Authority. 

W HEN mere men teach, they submit their 
lessons to the judgment of their hearers, who usually 
assume the office of critics, while they appear in the 
character of disciples. They will learn only what pleases 
their taste, or is approved by their judgment. But Jesus 
Christ being filled with the Spirit of God, taught with 


commanding authority. " I and the Father are one" 
(says he). " I speak not of myself, but of him that 
" sent me. Whoso keepeth my sayings, shall not 


What heathen philosopher ever dared to come, for- 
ward, as a teacher of mankind, with such w^eighty 
words as these? But it will be found, that however a 
few among mankind may be disposed to listen to calm 
reasonings, the great mass is most effectually taught 
what is fair and what is base, what is useful and what 
destructive*, by the voice of well-founded authority. 

The scriptures, especially those of the New Testa- 
ment, have long obtained this authority. We read them, 
not as we read any other book of the wisest of mortals^ 
not as judges, empowered to condemn or approve; but 
as pupils or dependents listen to the commands of an 
acknowledged master, whom they, at the same time, 
love and fear: and whose commands, they are sensible, 
are for their good, however disagreeable the duty which 
they prescribe. We consult them as an oracle. But 
we do not so consult the dialogues of Plato, or the 
Manual of Epictetus. 

'^ There are," (says the author of the Light of Nature 
pursued,) " many excellent sentiments of God and mo- 
" rality interspersed in the writings of the antients: but 
" those writings are studied by few, and read chiefly 
" for curiosity and amusement, regarded /as ingenious 
" compositions, shev/ing a sagacity and justness of 
" thought in the authors. They may make some im- 
• " pression in the reading, which quickly dies away 
" again, upon laying the book aside; as Tully tells us w^s 
*' his case, with respect to Plato upon the immortahty 
" of the soul. Whereas the Testament is the first book 

■'< ^lid sit pidchrunit qnidturpe, quid utile, quidnon'* 



^' we are taught to read, to receive as the oracle of God^ 
" containing the way to salvation, which, at our almost 
^^ PERIL, we must not disregard, and the truth v/hereof 
" it is a sin to doubt: therefore, whatever is drawn 
" thence, comes accompanied with a reverence, and 
" idea of high importance, which give a force to the 
" impression. Let a man take for his thesis the stoical 
" maxim. Things out of our power are nothing to us^ and 
" descant upon the imprudence of solicitude and anxiety 
" for future events, which we can no ways prevent or 
" provide against, it will not work the effects which the 
" very same discourse might do, pronounced from the 
" PULPIT, upon the text, " Sufficient unto the day ia the 
'^ evil thereof.'* 

Where is the uninspired philosopher, who can address 
mankind with the authority of St. Paul ? " My speech 
" and my preaching" (says he to the Corinthians), " is 
" not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but with 
" demonstration of the Spirit a:nd power, that your 
" faith might not be in the wisdom of men, but in the 
" power o/' Got/ (accompanying and enforcing my words.) 
" We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even 
" the hidden ivisdo?n, which none of the princes of this 
" world knew, but which God hath revealed unto us by 
" his Spirit, the ra Boi^v) rov Qiov, the depths of God. 
" We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the 
" Spirit which is of God ; that we might know the things 
" that are freely given to us of God ; which things also 
" we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom 
" teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth, explain- 
" ing the * things of the Spirit, (the instructions of the 
^' Spirit,) in the language of the Spiritf." Again, to the 
Ephesians he says, " The mystery ©f Christ, which in 

* See Wolf. Cur. Critic, in Loc. and Chapman's Eusebiv]^. 
t 1 Cor. ii, 4, 5. r, 8. 10. 12, 13, 


" ether ages was not made knov^n to the sons of men, 
'^ is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets, 
<* by the Spirit*." " For this cause" (he adds in another 
place) " thank we God without ceasing, because, when 
" ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, 
" ye received it not as the ivoi^d of vien^ but, as it is in 
<^ truths the word of Goof." He gives also a mena- 
cing admonition to those who should despise his direc- 
tions, as despising not man, but God. " He that 


Such is the commanding authority with which Chris- 
tianity addresses itself to men, including, in its peculiar 
doctrines and sublime mysteries, the finest ethics, 
though not systematically delivered, which the world 
ever saw. Let it be considered what an advantage it 
is to have even the best heathen morality inculca.ted 
with the sanction of commandments from the all-wise 
and ail-povv^erful Creator. Such is now the case where 
Christianity prevails. And would it be wise, even in a 
political sense, though policy is a very inferior conside- 
ration, to suffer a mode of teaching men to be just and 
good, thus efficacious, thus firmly and extensively esta- 
blished, to fall into neglect? When will the politicians 
of the world again obtain so powerful an engine ? What 
have they to substitute, if they break or take away the 
main spring of this most efficacious, long-tried machine? 
I beg leave to apologize for using so degrading a term. 
I am speaking, in their own language, to the worldly- 
wise, who despise the gospel. 

Some universal, authoritattoe code of moral law is 
wanted to instruct the million, high and low, rich and 
poor, M'ith great and certain effect. What teacher, 
from the schools of philosophy, antient or modern, if 

* Ephes. iii. 5. t 1 Thess, ii. 13. \ 1 Thess. iv. g. 


he deprive us of Christianity, can supply the defect? 
Will he not strive to supply it, but suffer mankind to 
lapse into ignorance, barbarism, and brutality ? He may 
give us a laboured system. But nothing vi^hich the most 
ingenious and learned can invent, however excellent its 
rules and precepts, can gain the advantage which 
Christianity already possesses by its authority alone. 
Time, and the concurrence of whole nations, have com- 
bined v^^ith its ov/n excellence to render it impressive 
beyond any human system. It is adapted to the poor 
and unlearned*, of which the majority of mankind, in all 
ages and countries, consist. It speaks tO' them as a 
voice from Heaven, and it will be heard. 

But its AUTHORITY must be infinitely increased, when 
men shall be convinced that the written gospel is accom- 
panied at the present hour, and will be to the end of 
time, with the ministration of the Spirit, the 
actual operation of the Holy Ghost, vivifying and illu- 
minating the divine principle within us. Christian phi- 
losophy is a sun ; w^iile all other, to use the poet's Ian* 
guage, is, comparatively, but " darkness visible." 

Christ taught as one having authority. Christ 
spake as never man spake ; and they who hear him with 
faith, will, through the operation of the Holy Ghost, 
possess a wisdom and a happiness man never knew how 
to bestow, and can never take away. 

* But under the management of some persons, as Erasmus 
observes, est ijiroENiosA res esse Christianum; it requires 
a great deal of I'i^GiE.Kv IT Y to be a Christian; as the tree of 
KNOWLEDGE was oncc preferred to the i ree of life, so 
learmng is preferred to piety; and as Grotius expresses it — ex 
religione ars facta est. — Religion is made an art 
by many, as it has by some, a trade. 



Morality^ or Obedience to the Commandments of God in 
social Intercourse and Personal Conduct^ remarkably 
insisted upon in the Gospel. 

JL HAT most injurious calumny, which asserts 
that the doctrine of grace is unfavourable to the purest 
virtue* and the most beneficent behaviour in civil society, 
must be refuted in the mind of every reasonable and 
impartial man, who attends to the following passages of 
Scripture : 

" He that hath my commandments, and keepeth 
" them, HE IT IS THAT LOVETH ME. If ye love me, 
" keep my commandments. If a man love nie, he will 
^' keep my words. He that loveth me not, keepeth not 
" my sayings. Every branch in me that beareth not 
" fruit, he taketh away ; and every branch that beareth 
" fruit, he purgeth it. Ye are my friends, if ye do what- 
^^ soever I command you. If ye continue in my word, 
^' then are ye my disciples indeed. Hereby do we know 
" that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 
" Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of 

* <* They (the rationalists and moral philosophers) charge their 
** opposers for not pressing moral duties: if they niean thereby 
" practical Christianity, there are none in the world press it more. 
" But W€ are not for a Pagauy but a Christian morality: and think 
" it not adviseable to press external acts alone, without minding 
** the principle and root from whence all that is truly Christian 
** must spring. We count it absurd and preposterous to look for 
•* fruits where there is no root :for gracious acts 'where grace is not 
*• planted in the hearts They may deck a may -pole with as many 
" garlands as they please, and set off a mast with flags and stream- 
** .ers; but they will never thereby make them fruit trejes." 

Clarkson on Saving Grace. 


" God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 
" Every man that has his hope in him, purifieth him- 
" self. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that 
" doeth righteousness is righteous ; he that committeth 
" sin is of the devil. Whosoever is born of God, sin- 
" neth not ; whosoever doth not righteousness, is not of 
" God. Pure religion and undefiled before God and 
" the Father, is this — to visit the fatherless and widows 
" in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from 
" the world. Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor 
" idolaters, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor 
" Keviiers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of 
" God*." 

It were easy to cite a great many more passages of 
the same moral importance ; but the written Gospel is 
in the hands of all, and there no one can search, with a 
fair and candid mind, without finding the purest virtue 
enforced on the strongest motives that can possibly 
actuate a human creature. 

The truth is, that the very same care and caution, 
the same virtuous exertions, are necessary to Christians, 
as if there were no supernatural and auxiliary interposi- 
tion. Our endeavours must not be relaxed in the small- 
est degree. The difference and advantage lies in the 
result and effect of our endeavours. Under the divine 
influence, they will certainly be attended with success. 
They will promote our happiness infallibly. The choic e 
of our conduct must be voluntary, and the perseverance 
and labour must be directed by the purest motives, and 
the most steady, regular, and careful diligence, just as 
if we depended upon ourselves ; while, at the same time, 
they are animated and supported by humble confidence 
in heavenly favour. No remissness is allowed on our 

* John, xiv. 15. 1 John, ii. 3. 5, &e. Jam. i. 27. 1 Cor. vi. 
9, 10. Eph. y. 5, 6. 


part in consequence of God'B favour. We are to work 
out our salvation with the utmost solicitude, knowing 
that he who gives us his grace, may, upon failure of 
our best endeavours, withdraw it, and leave us in a state 
of woeful desertion. Libertinism can avail itself of no 
such doctrines as these, which, in the very first instance, 
most emphatically recommend /iz^nVi/o/'/^ear^, the foun- 
tain of all external action. 

It is remarkable of the gospel, that it teaches obedi- 
ence to human law, and every moral virtue, not only for 
wrath, but also for conscience sake. 


Unbelievers not to he addressed merely with subtle Rea* 
soning^ which they always opfiose^ in its owii way^ not 
to be ridiculed.^ not to be treated with severity^ but to be 
tenderly and affectionately exhorted to firefiare their 
Hearts for the reception of the inwaed pritNESS, and 
to relume the LiGHf of life^ which they have extin>^ 
guished^ or rendered faint^ through FridCy Vice^ or 
total JVeglect* 

Jl acts have evinced, that mere human dispu- 
tation has little effect in converting the infidel. The 
infidel has often been remarkable for sagacity, and richly 
furnished with all human learning, though little ac- 
quainted with divine knowledge. I never knew any of 
them retract their errors, after the publication of the 
most ingenious and laborious books which claimed the 
honour of completely refuting them. It is time to try 
another method, since none can be more unsuccessful 
than that which has hitherto been used. It is time to 
trust less in human means, and rely on the fiower (f 



God^ which will manifest itself in the hearts of all men 
who persevere with earnestness in seeking divine illu- 

I deem it extremely imprudent and indecent to ridi- 
cule the unbeliever. It is setting him an example, 
which he may follow to the great injury of all that is 
serious and truly valuable both in morals and religion. 
It argues a levity and disregard for his happiness, very 
unbecoming any man who knows the value of a human 
soul, or who professes a solicitude to save it alive. The' 
it cause no conversion, it will produce retaliation. 

Still more unchristian is it to treat him with severity. 
I have read books professing to recommend the benign 
religion of Christ, and to refute all objections to it, yet 
written in the very gall of bitterness, displaying a 
pride and malignity of heart which may justly prompt 
the unbeliever to say, " If your religion, of which you 
*' profess to be a believer, and which you describe as 
*' teaching charity or benevolence in its fullest extent, 
'' can produce no better a specimen than your own tem- 
" per and disposition, let me preserve my good-nature, 
" and you may keep your Christianity, with' all the ad- 
" vantages you boast that it contains, in your own exclu- 
" sive possession. 

The late Bishop Warburton treated infidels with a 
haughty asperity scarcely proper to be shewn to thieves 
and murderers, or any, the most abandoned, members 
of society. Many have doubted, from the tenour of his 
writings, whether he was a believer ; or whether he only 
thought it sufficient, for the sake of rising in the church, 
to support religion by argument as a state engine. Cer- 
tain it is, that the spirit whiqh he shews towards his 
opponents* is not the Spirit of prace ; that Spirit which 

* The following is a specimen of the temper with whiqh 
Bishop Warburton wrote his hook on tlie doctrine of Grace, In 


is loving, gentle, and easy to be entreated. His spirit 
is singularly proud and acrimonious; and so has been 
the spirit of many of his predecessors and successors. 

How amiable and gentle, on comparison^ the language 
and sentiments of Voltaire * and Rousseau! Compare 
them with the mean, narrow, selfish sentiments of a 
time-serving preferment hunter, or the political caution 
and hypocrisy of a sacerdotal courtier. Voltaire and 
Rousseau would have loved Christianity, and probably 
believed it, if it had not been distorted and disfigured by 
the malignant passions of angry, polemical defenders of it, 
who shewed their love of Christ, by hating their brother, 
and who appeared by their actions to mean little by their 
professions, besides the gratification of pride and ava- 

the fifth chapter, where he is speaking of the office and operations 
of the Holy Spirit, he has the following note on Mr. William 
Law, who, if mistaken, is allowed to have been a sincere Chris- 
tian, and a very good as well as ingenious man : 

*« This poor man," (says the great Prelate,) <* whether misled 
« by his fanaticism or his spleen, has here fallen into a trap which 
*< his folly laid for his malice." 

There is then no malice in this observation, no pride, no re« 

* " In the writings of Voltaire, who never fails to have a taunt- 
« ing hit at the clergy, the cure' is generally an amiable person- 
*' age, a charitable man, a friend to the poor and unfortunate, a 
** peace-maker, and a man of piety and worth." 

Robison's Proofs of Conspiracy. 

Voltaire saw in the cure' (or parish priest) real Christianity — 
in the court-clergy of France, hypocrisy, villainy, pride, and cru- 

Would not the true spirit of Christianity reprobate such men, 
hiding the foul fiend under the white robes of religion ? I bear my 
testimony, in the strongest terms, against the general tendency of 
Rousseau's and Voltaire's writinjgs ; but think much of their evil 
26 to be attributed to the couax clergy of France. 


Religioft is beautiful. Full of grace are her lips. 
She shall speak for herself to the hearts of unbelievers, 
and the world: 

'^ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy 
" laden, and I will refresh you. I call you, not for the 
" sake of promoting any worldly interest, not for politi- 
" cal purposes, not for an ecclesiastical party, not to 
" maintain the riches or grandeur of any establishment ; 
" but that I may make you happy ; that I may dispel 
" the clouds of trouble and doubt which darken your 
" paths, and shew you the sunshine of Heaven. Mine 
" is a spirit of love. I am a lover of men. I seek to 
" do you good. I bring the glad tidings of the Gospel ; 
*' that is, I disclose to you that God Almighty, in pity 
" to suffering and erring mortals, sends a Comforter, 
*^ the Holy Ghost, descending like a dove, ail peacea- 
" ble, gentle, lovely. I fill you with hope ; and hope is 
^* a cheerful passion. It will tranquillize your agitated 
^^ bosoms, and lead you rejoicing on your way to the 
^^ silent grave, whither you must go, whether you make 
" your journey to it gay and pleasant, as you may, under 
^^ my guidance, or dismally dark, as it will ever be 
" when I withdraw my lustre.'* 

Would not such a mode of address be more likely to 
conciliate men who oppose themselves while they reject 
Christianity, than all the angry, taunting language which 
has been used, not only against professed infidels, but 
against believers who differed a little, in matters of in- 
difference. South, Bentley, Warburton, and some able 
writers in recent times, have shewn, in their zealous 
defences, the pride of pedantry, the fierceness of biirba- 
rians, the subtlety of politicians, but quite forgot the 
gentleness which characterizes the wisdom from 
HEAVEN, und which alone can win souls by the charms^ 
of soft persuasion, assisted by the holy spirit of love^ 


It is said of Dr. Johnson, that he used to declare, he 
ioved a good hater. Many polemical divines have 
shewn themselves capable of this passion of hatred in 
its highest perfection. But hatred begets hatred ; and 
Dr. Johnson's declaration is among those inconsistencies 
in his life, wrhich prove a great man still but a man. I 
am sorry that this saying should be recorded of him; 
for Dr. Johnson professed himself a zealous Christian, 
and Christ taught us to love even an enemy. Accord- 
ing to the Christian rule, an enemy, instead of being 
hated^ is to be melted to love and kindness by good usage* 

The odium theologicum^ displayed in controversy^ is, 
in my opinion, the greatest ofifirobrium theologicum. 
Warburtonian insolence and ill-nature have done more 
injury to the church, and to the cause of Christianity, than 
any of the writers whom they were intended to gall and 


Of the inadequate Idea entertained by many respectable 
Persons concerning Christianity; with a Suggestion on 
the Expediency of their considering the true JVature of 
Christian Philosophy* 

X O abstain from gross, enormous, open, and 
scandalous vices, to comply with the outward ceremo- 
nies of the Church, and to reciprocate the usual and 
formal civilities of life, constitutes, in the opinion of 
multitudes, not only a very respectable member of so- 
ciety, but a very good Christian* Concerning the doc- 
trines of Christianity, such persons give themselves 
little concern, but plume themselves on decently prac- 
tising the DUTIES j by w^hich they understand nothing 



more than a very imperfect kind of heathen morality, 
and the avoidance of such conduct as might expose, 
them to the animadversion of law, or to the loss of 
reputation. The duties of Christianity thus limited, 
they think easily discernible, without study or reading, 
by common observation and common sense. Doing as 
others do^ as far as the decorum of estabUshed manners 
allows and prescribes, is the grand rule. Such persons 
pass through life with great credit, paying their way, 
and making themselves agreeable in company, and are 
seldom mentioned but with the praise of very good sort 
of people. 

Exactly such sort of people they might have been if 
Christianity had never existed. They hold no opinion, 
they adopt no practice peculiar to Christianity. The 
Gospel, which they profess to embrace, is a leaden rule, 
an accommodating guide, an humble companion, that 
must obsequiously stand on one side, whenever it is in 
the way of a fashionable practice. Gaming, duelling, 
and many modes of gratification inconsistent both with 
the letter and spirit of the Gospel, seem to receive no 
check from this convenient species of Christianity. 

Any thoughts which may occasionally intrude of a 
very seiious kind, are laughed away by the surrounding 
circle, as vapours, fancies, the effects of morbid melan- 
choly, or of nervous indisposition. Company, public 
places, public diversions, are immediately proposed as 
a sovereign remedy ; and indeed they certainly are so 
far a remedy, that they banish serious thoughts^ but they 
also banish that hafifiy disfiosition (for happiness is seri- 
ous) which might have caused the visitation frovi on 
high^ and obtained, for the weary sick heart, the sweetly- 
refreshing cordial of divine grace. 

Attendance at polite places of public worship seems 
to constitute the piety of such persons ; and public sub- 
scription to fashionable or political contributions shews 


their chanty. It seerns fair to infer, that their piety 
and charity are thus circumscribed, because their ac- 
tions, on other occasions and at other places, seem 
inconsistent with piety or charity. Sunday is often 
employed by them in a manner forbidden both by divine 
and human laws; and the poor at the next door to their 
mansions, in some retired village, are often unrelieved, 
while strangers at a watering place, (where the bene- 
factors names are handed about,) and advertised objects, 
receive a very ample share of their public bounty. 

All this while they consider themselves as good Chris- 
tians. God only knows the heart; but if they are mis- 
taken, as is probable, their mistake is a very unhappy 
one. They are depriving themselves of the benefit of 

But their mistake probably arises from ignorance. 
They are indeed very far from ignorant of many things. 
Their ignorance is chiefly religious ignorance ; and it is 
caused by habitual inattention to the doctrines of 
Christianity*. It is indeed rather difficult to avoid such 
ignorance, since their time is occupied in what religion 
calls vanity, and the few hours devoted to reading are 
chiefly employed in novels, v/here a truly Christian 
character would be deemed a perfect solecism. 

I humbly hope that the contemplation of Christian 
Philosophy, thus imperfectly represented in this little 
volume, may lead them to study it in the great authors 
whom I have cited; and I trust they will thence find a 
great increase in their comforts, and that their happi- 
ness will be less exposed to concussion, when founded 
on the solid basis of divine favour. 

* *' And they said unto him, we have not so much as hear4 
** whether there be any Hcly Ghost j and he (St. Paul) said unto 
** them, unto what then were ye baptised ?" Acu^ xix. 2, 3. 



On indifference and Insensibility to Religion^ arising from 
Hardness of Heart. JVb progress can be ?nade in 
CnRisriAN PHiLosoPHT in suck a State y as it is a 
State incompatible with the divine Influence* 

X HE fine feelings with which nature formed 
the heart of man in his primeval state, and with* which 
perhaps every infant is born, are too often rendered 
obtuse by indiscriminate commerce with the world; 
and the heart of fleshy once tremblingly alive to the 
softest touch of sympathy, is metamorphosed to a heart 
of stone. Deplorable change ! for what is man when 
he ceases to feel? a reasoning vegetable, with this pain- 
ful pre-eminence over the nettles and briars, that he 
has the power of being actively mischievous in the 
present state, and capable, when the sensibihty shall 
be restored in another, of final and unsufferable woe. 
To lapse into this condition, to become past feeling, to 
have a seared conscience, is, without doubt, the heaviest 
calamity of which human nature is susceptible. Per* 
haps he who is reduced to it is not conscious of it at the 
time ; a circumstance which, contrary to what might 
be expected, ultimately aggravates his misfortune. It 
is characteristic of this state, that while it is alive to the 
vanities and miseries of the world, it is dead to God 
and all the delicate sensations of unaffected virtue. 

This condition of religious insensibility is not to be 
accounted for by causes merely physical or philosophic 
cal. The middle-aged fall into it as well as the old, 
the healthy as well as the diseased, men of the bright- 
est talents no less than the dull and the stupid. But 
Christian Philosophy traces its origin, and pronounces 
it the consequence of an unregenerate state, or 


the total defect of divine grace. He who lives in it has 
forsaken his God, the guide of his ybuth; and his God 
has forsaken him, and given him up to a reprobate 
mind, a heart of stone, at once cold and impenetrable. 
Whom he will, he hardeneth*. 

Happily he, who in his displeasure inflicted the mis- 
fortune, can remove it. "A new heart (says God) 
^^ will I give you, a new Spirit will I put into you ; and 
" I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh; and 
" I will give you a heart of flesh ; and I will put my Spirit 
^' within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and 
" ye shall keep my judgments and do themf-'* 

From this declaration mankind may conclude, (as 
many ever have been and still are experimentally con- 
vinced,) that God influences the human bosom by his 
actual interposition, and the supernatural energy of his 
Holy Spirit. Christ himself &ays, '^ Lo! lamwithyou^ 
" even unto the end of the world.'' But how is he with 
us but by the Holy Gliost, whose orr'inary operations 
are now as energetic as ever on tliC bosom of the true 
believer. Except a man be born again of this Spirit, 
we read in express language, " he cannot see the king- 
^' dom of God*" No words can be more exphcit. They 
mean regeneration by Grace, or what else do they 
mean? Tliey support, as on a rock, the doctrine of divine 
agency; and without this doctrine, all teaching and 
preaching is " as salt that has lost its savour." This 
doctrine forms the solid basis of Christian Philoso- 
phy. All morality, every precept and principle which 
leads to happiness present or future, stand upon it im- 
moveably. Other buildings are of hay and stubble; 
this is of gold and maibie. 

And with respect to the charge of blameable enthusi- 
asm, which is constantly brought, and cannot be too 

* Romans, ix. 18. t Ezekiel, xxxvi. 26, 27. 


frequently repelled, let us hear Bishop L^vington, so 
great an enemy to methodism, that he wrote the sever- 
est book which ever appeared in opposition to it. But 
thus he speaks to his clergy, on a solemn occasion, 
when he was instructing them how to execute their 
pastoral office: 

" My brethren,** says he, " I beg you will rise up 
" with me against moral preaching. We have long 
" been attempting the reformation of the nation by dis- 
" courses of this kind. With what success? None at 
" ALL. On the contrary, we have dexterously preach- 
" ed the people into downright infidelity. We must 
^^ change our voice. We must preach Christ, and him 
" crucified. Nothing but the Gospel is, nothing will 
" be found to be, ihe/iower of God unto salvation^ besides. 
" Let me therefore again and again request^ may I not 
" add, let me charge you, to preach Jesus, and sal- 
" vation through his name. Preach the Lord who 
"bought us; preach redemption through his blood; 
" preach the saying of the great High Priest; he who 
" believeth shall be saved; preach repentance to- 
" wards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.** 

Thus Bishop Lavington; a man who abhorred fanati- 
cism. Who could ever suspect Archbishop Seeker*, 
Bishop Hurd, Bishop Home, Bishop Horsley, of irra- 
tional enthusiasm ? Yet, in their discourses and charges, 

* << The truth, I fear, is,'* says Archbishop Seeker, "that 
«< many, if not most of us, have dwelt too little on 
<* THESE DOCTRINES," the doctrmcs of Grace and other peculiar 
doctrines of Christianity, **in our sermons — 'by no means, in 
<* general, from disbelie'o'mg or slighting them." 

Again, says the same discerning Primate, '*We have, in 


Seeker's Charge. 
There never was a more discreet, rational, or judicious Arch- 
bishop than Seeker. He could not favour fanaticism. 


they all urge their Clergy, not to preach mere moral 
doctrines, the philosophy of the heathens, but the Gosfiel; 
that is, the great doctrines of redemption, atonement, 
satisfaction by Christ, and the necessity and importance 
of divine Grace. If, by the coming of Christ, God re- 
commended only a morajl systebi, merely republish- 
ed the religion of nature, this would in fact have been 
Ho Revelation. Indeed, a merely moral Christianity is 

When Christianity is the national religion, and great 
revenues are allotted to its professional teachers, many 
may chuse to join the crowd of Christians for the loaves 
and fishes; many may call themselves Christians wha 
have nothing of Christianity but the name, and in their 
hearts despise even the name ; but let all serious and 
sensible men remember, that if the Gospel is hid^ it is 
hid to them that are lost^ nvhose eyes the god of this world 
hath blinded; let them in time beware, lest that come 
upon them which is spoken by the prophet: "Behold, 
" ye despisers, and wonder and perish; for I work a 
" work in your days, a work which you will in no wise 
<^ understand, though a man declare it unto you*" 


A ^elf Examination recommended respecting religious 

X-iET every reader take a view of the present 
state of his heart. Let us all look inwardly, and con- 
sider our real state, without self-flattery and deceit, 
uninterrupted either by business or pleasure. 

Does my heart require renovation? Is it piously in- 
clined to God, and kindly to my fellow-creature ? Am 
* Acts, xiii. 40, 41. 

2o4 cHRisriAN PHiLosopnr. 

I convinced of my own ignorance, weakness, and un- 
-worthiness? Have I enquired into the health of mj 
soul, the state of my temper and disposition, with half 
the solicitude with which I take care to feed, to cure, to 
adorn my body ? If not, I may call myself a Christian, 
and join the congregation of Christians, but I am pro- 
bably still a heathen, still unregenerate, I may be in 
the gall of bitterness, and the bond of iniquity. My 
heart may be hardened through the deceitfulness of 
sin, and as I value my happiness in this short state of 
existence, or my immortal soul, I must seek the divine 
Grace, to give me a feeling sense of my wants and 
wretchedness, and of God's power to illuminate and 
comfort me by his Holy Spirit. 

But supposing that I am feelingly convinced of sin 
and misery, and sincerely wish to be delivered from it, 
do I seeR deliverance by the Gospel means, that is, 
through Jesu^ Christ ; or do I depend upon my own 
reason, a few moral acts and habits observed for the 
sake of decency, for my own health, wealth, and that 
reputation in the world which is necessary to the ad- 
vancement of my interest ? If so, my morality is worldly 
wisdom, and my religion has no claim to Christianity. 
I am unregenerate, unconverted, unrenewed, notwith- 
standing my baptism and my professions; and continu- 
ing as I do by choice a heathen, in the midst of the 
light of Christianity, which at the same time I solemnly 
profess, I must finally perish, after an unsatisfactory life. 

Is my Christianity a cold, philosophical assent to a 
few propositiojis in the Gospel, evident before the Gos- 
pel w^as divulged, and such as 1 select from others of 
the same authority in the same book, which I do not 
so well approve? Then is my religion nominal only. 
I profess to believe, as others appear to do, what I 
never in my life fully considered. I am content to live 
without God in the world^ so long as my corn and my 


wine increase, and I can say to my soul, " Soul, thou 
" hast much goods laid up for many years, take thine 
" ease, eat, drink, and be merry *•" For the sake of 
living at peace, and for the sake of credit, which is inti- 
mately connected with my interest, I conform to all 
outward ceremonies and all moral decencies ; but my 
heart has not yet been truly turned to God. I know no 
other God than my own gain and pleasure; and as to 
heaven, this earth, so long as I secure to myself a large 
share of it and its good things, is my paradise. I say 
to myself, " It is good for me to be here ; here will I 
^' build my tabernacle ; for it is a pleasant place, and I 
^< have a delight therein. But what shall I say when 
^' this world is receding from me, when my senses de- 
^' cay, and death evidently approaches? Then shall I 
*' have no comfort, unless God should soften my heart 
<^ by the effusion of his Spirit. But lest my obduracy 
*' should grow impenetrable by time, I will immediately 
" implore the divine favour, in co-operation with my 
" own endeavours, to restore my religious sensibility. 
<' I will henceforth cultivate the love of God." 

But to love God only, is not enough. Do I love my 
FELLOW-CREATURE? or, as it is cxprcsscd in Scripturc, 
*^ my neighbour?'* The apostle says, " Beloved, let us 
<' love one another, for love is of God, and every one 
*' that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God ; he 
" that loveth not, knoweth not God, and therefore can- 
" not be born of him, for God is lovet«" How, then, 
is my heart affected towards my fellow-creatures ? Are 
my friendships merely combinations for' the sake of in- 
terest and pleasure ? Is there any human being in the 
world whom I wish to be miserable, and would render 
so if I had him in my power? Have I no sympathetic 
feelings for men as men? If I cannot recollect acts of 

* Luke xii. 20. t ^ John, iv. 7, 8. 

206 cHRisrijy PHiLosoPHr^ 

disinterested benevolence, I may rest assured that it is 
the same hardness of heart which renders me insensi- 
ble to God, that has also made me a stranger to the 
social affections. I have need, therefore, to pray that 
God would thaw my heart by the sunshine of his grace. 
He who can turn a heart of stone into a heart of flesh, 
will cause me to feel, by his Spirit's influence, for those 
who share with me the evils incident to humanity. 

By such questions as the above, and many such every 
man may propose to himself, the state of the heart may 
be .ascertained much better than by signing articles or 
repeating a symbol. 

God certainly made the heart of man tender. Jesus 
himself wept, and thus forever hallowed the briny foun- 
tain. Tears are appropriated to man, as one of the 
most honourable distinctions which separate him from 
the brute creation. When man has dried up the sacred 
soiuxe by acquired insensibility, he has degraded his 
nature, and must have recourse to God to make him a 
new creature, to regenerate and render him alive to the 
sentiments of divine love, and the soft touches of humane 
sympathy. God's Spirit can break the rock of flint 
asunder, and cause the waters to gush from it in abun- 

And can I venture to hope that he will do so, that he 
will melt my obduracy ? Yes, certainly ; for Jesus Christ 
has PROMISED the influence of his Spirit to renew the 
heart, and accomplish the great work of regeneration. 
Without this I cannot be happy. I may be rich, great, 
learned, but I cannot be happy. I am lost and undone 
without it ; in a state more degraded and wretched than 
that of the lowest and obscurest human being, whose 
piety and humility may have drawn down upon his 
heart the holy emanation of divine love. 



T/ie Sufn a7id Substance of Christian Philosophy the Re- 
newal of the Heart by Divine Grace; or the softening 
it and rendering it susceptible of virtuous and bencvo^ 
lent impressions^ by cultivating the two grand Princi* 
pies — Piety to God^ and Charity to Ma?!. 

W HAT is Christian wisdom or philosophy ? 
Let the apostle answer; it is to '' put off the old man, 
"which is corrupt, and to put on the new man, which, 
" after God, is created in righteousness and true holi- 
" ness/' We must be born again, or it had been better 
for us that we had not been born at all. The wisdom 
from above is the true Christian philosophy ; that wis- 
dom which, we are told*, " is first pure, then peaceable, 
" gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good 
" fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." 

Hardness of heart is incompatible with this wisdom 
which is full of mercy. The bosom must be softened 
by divine influence. Redeem the time, therefore, that 
ye have hitherto lost in a cold, lifeless, formal, decorous 
religion. Love God, love your neighbour, with the 
ardour of a sincere mind, and the amiable simplicity of 
infantine innocence. Seek Jesus Christ with the earn- 
estness of one who is a Christian by choice, and not 
merely because he was born in a Christian country, or 
of Christian parents; not because the laws of the land 
have established that religion, and it is creditable to 
appear among its professors in places consecrated to 
public devotion. Be Christians on your pillows, in your 
daily employments, in the occupation of your merchan- 
dize or agriculture, as well as in your church, and on 

* James, iii. 17. 


the day set apart for divine service. Let Christ, by the 
Holy Ghost, be formed in your hearts, restoring in you 
the image of God, in which you were created, but which 
was sadly sullied, or quite defaced, by the fall of the 
first Adam, and can be restored only by the mercy of 
the second. 

If there were but a probability that these comfortable 
doctrines are true, a wise man would cherish them; but 
as they are abundantly confirmed by the written word, 
hj the church, by the learned, by the experience and 
testimony of millions of pious men; who would not 
resolve to believe, and if any doubts should at any time 
arise, to say, " Lord, help thou my unbelief!" 

Religion has been, and is, the delight of a great part 
of our fellow-creatures throughout Christendom. It may 
be ours, if we will duly apfily our mijids to it. Consider 
with what ardour of attachment many seek pictures^ 
books, the works of art, the objects of taste and fancy. 
They learn to love them^ by apfilying their minds to them. 
Half the apfilication bestowed on things, which, at best, 
are but toys, if bestowed on religion, would make it 
your chief delight, the guardian of your youth, and the 
comfort of your age and affliction. You would no longer 
consider its duties and employments as heavy and dull. 
You would feel, not only the offices of charity, but devo- 
tion, sweet to your soul. The gracious words of gospel 
truth, of prayer, and thanksgiving, would, " come o'er 
" thine ear," as the poet says, 

li _— ,w_ like the sweet south, 
<< That breathes upon a batik of violets." 

It is justly said, that in devotional offices, passion be- 
comes reason, and transport, temper. Heaven must 
disdain the cold prayer, the lukewarm praise of insen- 
sibility and indifference. The incense must blaze on 
the altar, before the sweet odours can ascend to the 
skies. Cold devotion is indevout. Heartless thanks- 


giving is an insult. What! shall we be warm, and 
anxious, and sanguine, in worldly pursuits, in politics 
and party, and dull and languid as followers of Christ, 
in shewing our zeal in the cause of the great Captain of 
our salvation, which is the cause of all mankind, a cause 
in which Heaven and earth are interested? 

Be it the great endeavour of all who would obtain 
wisdom from above, to conciliate, hy fervent prayer, the 
grace of God, which will remove all hardness of heart, 
the cause of that coldness and insensibility, which is too 
often most unjustly honoured with the name of mode- 
ration *• 


On spiritual Slumber-^ as described in the Scri/itureSj and 
the necessity of being awakened. 

X HE religious world is divided into many 
sects; but perhaps the most numerous party consists 
of nominal Christians, who appear to adopt no religious 
opinions at all ; who, indeed, neither deny the truth of 
any religion, nor controvert its doctrines ; but who give 
themselves up to the pleasures and business of the 
world, or to mere thoughtlessness and inactivity, and 
leave religion to its professed ministers, to their neigh- 
bours, to the weak, the sick, and the superannuated. 
In the words of Isaiah, " They hear, but understand 
" not; and see, indeed, but perceive not; the heart of 
" this people is fat, their ears heavy, and their eyes 
" shut." With respect to their spiritual state, they 

* " Because thou art luke-warm, I will vomit thee out of my 
** mouth" — if^tia-oci — one of the strongest expressions of contempt 
and indignation in the holy scriptures. Rev. iii. 16. 

s 2 


may be said to have fallen into a deep sleep; and m 
the midst of their bodily activity, their souls are sunk 
in slumber. To these the animating words of the apos- 
tle are addressed; " Awake, thou that sleepest, and 
" arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." 
Is it possible that men can sleep so soundly, in this 
uncertain state, while the house they inhabit may be 
said to be in flames, or while they lie on the very brink of 
a steep cliff, from which, if they fall, they fall to rise no 
more ? Alas ! it is not only possible, but common ; though 
it is a sleep, in which, whosoever indulges, may possi- 
bly sleep on till he wake no more. It may be a fatal 
sleep ; the sleep of death ; the stupor of a lethargy ; the 
numbness of a spiritual palsy ; the insensibility of mor- 

They who fall into this deep sleep, like those who 
indulge the sleep of nature, commonly lie in darkness ; 
the darkness of voluntary ignoj-ance. Indolence smooths 
their pillow, and silences their pavilion. Their eyes 
are closed by prejudice, and the curtains drawn around 
them by pride and presumption* The opiates of vanity, 
of worldly ease and pleasure, superinduce a kind of 
trance. Sealed are their eye-lids, but their sleep is not 
a quiet sleep; it is not sweet and refreshing, like the 
sleep of virtue, the balmy repose of health, wearied, at 
the close of day, with the exertions of beneficence. 

It is a sleep interrupted by dreams. Shadowy, fan- 
tastic forms, of a thousand shapes and hues, flit before 
the fancy. Ambition has her dreams, Avaince her spec- 
tres, and Pleasure her visions of ideal bliss, painted with 
s» glow of colouring, which the pencil cannot emulate. 

Crowns and sceptres, purple robes, crimson banners, 
with titles of honour, and armorial bearings, pass, like 
a fiageant^ before the courtier, the statesman, the sena- 
tor, the lawyer, the warrior. He fixes his eye upoa 
them devoutly. He catches at them eagerly, as the 


glittering train moves on. They elude his grasp. He 
catches again. The air-drawn baubles vanish. Again 
he is disappointed. Still he perseveres ; and v^^ith aching 
heart, and trembling knees, and palsied hand, he reaches, 
at last, with great difficulty, a coronet, a star, a ribband, 
and places it on his shaking head, or his throbbing 
bosom; — then, stumbling on the dark mountains, down 
he falls, stripped of all his blushing honours and his gor- 
geous robes. Clad in a shroud, and with a few vain 
words engraved on his coffin-plate, he is thrust, lest he 
should become noisome, into a mouldy vault, to rot and 
be forgotten here, where alone he sought distinction;, 
and to appear all shivering and naked, before Christ, 
his judge ; of whom he never once thought seriously, 
during the deep sleep and the long day-dreams of a 
vain, worldly, irreligious life. 

Behold another dreamer, with a hoary head, lying 
down to rest, not on soft pillows^ but on bags of gold. 
It is the miser ; he dreams that the pale spectre of hag- 
gard poverty is pursuing hard after him ; a cold sweat 
bedew^s his emaciated cheeks, and his teeth shake; but 
he is cheered again by dreaming of bargains, usurious 
contracts, of joining house to house, and laying field to 
field; of saving all he gains, of taking advantage of the 
wants of one, and the ignorance of another, to fill his 
enormous chest » And lo! it is now full. Is he happy ^ 
and does he use it? Does he enjoy it, for the purpose 
it was designed? Does he think of God the giver of all 
good things? Does he distribute it to the poor? No; his 
joy consists in telling it o'er and o'er, weighing it with 
shaking hands, and viewing it with a dim spectacled eye, 
which can scarcely distinguish a counterfeit from a true 
coin. At some future period, when he shall have com- 
pleted a certain sum, he dreams that he shall build, 
plant, do good, and be whatever a man ought to be. 
But the sleep of death comes on before the cb-eam of 


life is over, and he is gone. And lo! his heir thrusts 
him into the ground, with a face of affected grief, that 
can hardly hide his real joy. Down sinks the dream- 
ing dotard, into the bosom of that earth to which his 
mind was prone ; his very name rots with his emaciated 
body; and his spirit, all poor, naked, and beggarly, 
moans and bewails that he laid up no treasure in hea- 
ven; that, in his earthly visions, he never thought of his. 
soul ; never felt a desire for the riches of grace. 

And now behold his heir. Possessed of wealth which 
he never knaw the toil of earning, he becomes a man of 
pleasure; and he also dreameth a dream^ The banquet 
is prepared. The wine giveth its colour in the cup* 
The gaming-table is before him. Noise aud riot drive 
away thought and care. The singing men and the 
singing women enter. Money is lavished on horses^ 
dogs, sharpers, buffoons; and no debts regarded but 
those of false honour. His heart dances to the melody 
of the harp and the viol ; he pampei^ every bodily sense^ 
till pleasure itself is converted into pain or insensibility. 
He dreams on, and soon sees phantoms of pleasure, the 
ghosts of departed joys, dancing, in mockery, before his 
eyes. His powers of perception decay, his youth and 
health are departed, and he droops like a hyacinth, bro- 
ken down by a hasty shower, before it 'has expanded its, 
beauty. Down he sinks to the earth, into an untimely 
grave, and mourns, as he retires from the shadowy 
scene, that a greediness of pleasure surfeited his senses,, 
and robbed him, not only of longer life, but of real en* 
jpyment dming its continuance. What preparation did 
he make to relish the pleasures which flow at God's 
right hand> the pleasures of reason, the sweets of be- 
nevolence, all-pure, all-spiritual, as exquisite in the. 
enjoyment, as exalted and durable in their nature?, 
Alas! none. He had neither time nor inclination*^ 
His soul slept, while his body waked with a fever ^ th& 


fine sensibilities of the spiritual nature were enveloped 
in slumber, while his bodily senses were unnaturally 
jaded, and prematurely worn out by constant vigilance 
and activity. He drank the cup of pleasure to the dregs, 
and the dregs were to his palate wormwood, and to his 
vitals poison. 

Similar to such slumbers and such dreams are the 
slumbers and dreams of many whom we meet walking, 
in their sleep, in the streets of the city ; whom we behold 
all lively and active in the gaily-iiluminated theatres of 
pleasure, in the crowded emporium of commerce, in 
the courts of princes, in the senate-house, in the forum, 
and at the tribunal. Deeply do they drink the draughts 
of worldly vanity, which, like doses of opium, lay them 
indeed asleep; but at the same time fill them with self- 
conceit and pride, and disturb them with dreams, wild as 
the scenes of fairy land. It is not a sweet sleep ; it is 
the sleep of disease, and resembles what the physicians 
call the COMA vigil, a waking slumber, a dangerous 
symptom. Then, let no man indulge the first tenden- 
cies to the sleep of the soul ; but rather shaJke off* dull 
sloth, and hear the voice which calls him like the cheer- 
ful herald of the morning: " Aw^ake, thou that sleepest, 
" and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee 
" light." Cheerful, pleasant, merciful warning! But 
many, it is feared, are too fast asleep to hear it. They 
are, in their torpid state, like the swallows, in the win- 
ter; but even the swallows when the spring calls them 
forth, rise from their temporary death in unknown 
regions, to soar with joy and triumph in the fields of 
sether. The primroses and violets sleep on their banks 
for many months; but when the bland voice of the 
zephyrs whispers " arise," you see them spring forth, 
lift up their heads, and drink the sun-beams, and the 
dew of heaven. And shall the cold ear of man be deaf 
to the sitiU small voice of conscience j and shall his eyes 


be impenetrable to the beams of grace? Many seem 
to have little in their nature of a religious disposition; 
yet let us not conclude that any of the sons of Adam, 
any of the redeemed of Christ, are destitute of that 
LIVING PRINCIPLE, vi^hich is to be fostered and cherish- 
ed even to immortal life. There is in every man a 
spark, perhaps a latent spark, which only requires to be 
gently blown by the aspiration of the Holy Ghost, to be- 
come a clear light, and afford a vital warmth, to guide 
to all evangelical truth, and to invigorate the mind with 
faith and hope. There is in every man a seed of virtue, 
goodness, and piety, which only requires the divine 
grace to shine upon it, in order to become a flourishing 
plant, exuberant in its fine foliage, beautiful in its blos- 
som, abundant in its delicious fruit, striking root deeply 
in the heart, reaching the heavens with its branches, and 
vegetating in beautiful verdure to all eternity. 

To excite this spark, to cherish this little tender seed 
of grace, this, O sons of men, is the work, this thie 
labour. Arise, therefore, and be doing, and the Lord 
be with you. 

Let us, then, take an impartial view of our own state, 
and examine whether many of us are not in the state 
of spiritual sleeping and dreaming already described. 
How passes our life ? We eat, we drink, we sleep. To*- 
morrow and to-morrow the same dull repetition: we 
eat, we drink, we sleep. So also do the poor animals 
around us, whom we look down upon as our inferiors* 
How are we employed in the intervals of this vegeta- 
tive life ? We buy, we sell, we dress, we trifle, we visit, 
we tell or hear the tale of the day, often a trifling, often 
a false, sometimes a malevolent one ; but in all this, have 
little other design than to pass away the time without 
reflection ; to forget ourselves ; to hide the prospQct be- 
fore us^-deathj judgment, heaven, and helU 


How stands the real state of that religion which 
We profess? We learn our catechism in our infancy; 
we read the bible at school; we go to church like 
others; we hear and repeat our prayers; but have 
we, indeed, considered our religion as our principal 
concern? Christianity is either true or not true. If 
we believe it true, it must be our chief concern; if 
not true, then why mock we both God and man by 
our hypocrisy ? But we profess to believe it. Have 
we any secret exercises of the soul in converse and com- 
munion with God? Do we spend any time with our 
own hearts ? Have we no sweet intercourse with heaven 
in solitude? no fervour of piety, no inward religion, no 
spiritual sensibility, no pious ardour, no secret store of 
comfort unknown to the world, and which the world 
cannot reach, locked up as the precious jewel, in the 
casket of the heart? If we have not, we are assuredly 
in that state which requires us to listen to that animat- 
ing call, " Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from 
" the dea<l;" for dead we are to God; dead to every 
thing but that vanity which ever terminates in vexation ; 
dead to all those remains of excellence, which have 
preserved, amidst the ruins of human nature, some 
faint vestige of its original grandeur and grace. 

Take away the sfiiritual life^ and you level man with 
the brutes. He becomes immediately what the philoso- 
phers of old called him, an animal with two legs, and with- 
out feathers. How are the mighty fallen ! The wings of 
the eagle are clipped. He no longer eyes the golden sun, 
but grovels, like a reptile, on the earth. You not only 
level him with the brutes, you make him more miserable 
than they: for he is sorely sensible of his evils, which 
they are not ; he is sensible of his forlorn condition, sen- 
sible of the shortness and possible evils of life, suffers 
imaginary as well as real woe, and sees the gloomy 
prospect before him— the grave opening to swallow 


him up, and the possibility of something terrible be- 
yond it. If we are but animals, then are M^e of all 
animals most miserable! 

Since a religious lethargy is thus degrading to our 
nature, thus productive of misery, let us rescue our- 
selves from it to-day, while it is called to-day ; and let 
no man say with the sluggard, " a little more sleep, and 
" a little more slumber, a little more folding of the 
" hands to sleep." Life ebbs apace. The day is far 
spent to many of us. The night is at hand, when the 
sad licence may be allowed to us in that severe per- 
mission, " Sleep on, now, and take your rest." Your 
sun is set, to rise no more. Death's scythed, triumphal 
car, drives on rapidly^ and mows down all that stand 
in the way. It is computed, by the ingenious in calcu- 
lation, that, on the surface of the globe, more than .y?/i^?/ 
thousand mortals, men, women, and children, die every 
night. How soon may any one of us make an unit in 
the thousands that every hour go down into the pit and 
are no more seen ! 

One of the best means of exciting ourselves, i$ a due 
prefiaration for the sacrament of the Lord's Sufifler* 
Let us never fail to receive it at Christmas, Whitsun- 
tide, and Easter. We shall thus experience a resur" 
rection from the sleep and death of indifference, to life 
and hope in Christ our Redeemer. 

It is, mdeed, an alarming symptom of the spiritual 
slumber, that many of us go on from month to month, 
and from year to year, without receiving the sacrament; 
without seeking that mysterious communion between 
God and our souls; without feeling any need of it; . 
without desiring it ; without any hunger or thirst after 
it. If we were not wrapt in a deep sleep, or state of 
stupidity, we should long for it; feel an appetite for the 
heavenly manna; and come to the Lord's table, as ta 
our daily meals, with eagerness and alacrity. 


What shall we think of those numerous persons who, 
from year to year, hear notice given of the sacrament 
to be administered, and pay it not the least attention? 
v/ho think it a matter which may concern any body but 
themselves ? How many among the poorest of the poor 
never approach the altar; live and die, without having 
once received the sacrament, or sought any other means 
of grace ? Do they think the rich only are capable of 
grace; that the rich only have souls to save; that our 
Lord, like the world, invites the rich only to his table ? 
Think, did I say? Alas! they think little on the subject. 
They are in a deep sleep; lost in the night of ignorance. 
And it unfortunately happens, that if they are awaken- 
ed at all, it is usually by the call of some enthusiast im^ 
protierly called a methodist^ who leads them from the 
<;hilness of indifference, to the burning fever of fanatical 
devotion. Let them rather hear the evangelical call, 
and apply it to themselves without delay ; " Awake, 
" thou that sleepest:" and let them obey the friendly 
voice of him who came expressly to preach the gospel 
to the poor. Let them prepare themselves immedi- 
ately to use the means of grace afforded them by the 
sacrament of the Lord's supper, and be thankful that at 
that table there are no invidious distinctions; that the 
rich and poor meet together, prostrate on their knees, 
before their Maker, partaking his bounty without par- 
tiality, and supplicating his mercy ; all equally poor and 
helpless, without his grace. 

There are, it seems probable, many others among 
us, who think themselves too young to be at all concern- 
ed with things so senous as the sacrament. They go, 
indeed, to church, but never think of the holy commu- 
nion, because they are too young to be serious. Permit 
me to ask, what is the precise age at which the care of 
the soul is to commence? When does the minority of 

• Methodism is described as " godliness without ohdeh," 

218 CHMIsr/jiS PHlLOSOPHr. 

the soul terminate? If all are exempt who are young, 
and who think themselves young, how great will be the 
mimber! Is not going to church, a ^moz^^ thing? They 
do not think themselves too young to go to church. May 
it not then be suspected, that as they think themselves 
unconcerned with the sacrament, they may also think 
themselves unconcerned with the prayers and the dis- 
courses of the church ; and so may frequent the church, 
merely to display their external garb, to gaze and to be 
gazed at, to pass away an idle hour, and to comply with 
an established custom. But if their be truth in Christian- 
ity, they are trifling with the most important matters, in 
a most dangerous manner. They are acquiring a habit 
of considering the most sacred thitigs with indiffebence. 
If they are too young to think of serious things, they 
certainly are not too young to die. Let them take a 
walk in the church^yard, and read the inscriptions on 
the tomb'Stones. They will find perhaps, as many 
young as old, among the victims of death; and they 
must allow that youth is a more dangerous season, with 
respect to temptations^ than any other; and consequent- 
ly, that it more particularly requires the succours of 
divine grace, to keep it from falling into sin and misery. 
And what so powerful a means of grace as the sacra- 
ment, after a due preparation ? 

No; you are not too young to receive the divine blessing 
of grace. Only be sensible how much you want it ; how 
wretched and how profligate you may become ; into what 
shameful and dreadful conduct you may fall, without it. 
Awake, therefore, from a sleep which you cannot indulge 
without losing the morning of life ; the best season for 
every kind of work, spiritual as well as worldly. Begin 
well, in order to end well. Remember your Creator 
in the days of your youth, and he will not forget 
you in the days of your old age. Trust not in beau- 
ty. Trust not in stren§;th. Beauty alone has n© 


charms in the eye of Heaven. Strength of body can- 
not avail against the arm of offended Omnipotence. 
But beauty and strength, combined with virtue and 
piety — how lovely in the sight of men ! how pleasing to 
Heaven — peculiarly pleasing, because, with every temp- 
tation to deviate, they voluntarily walk in the path of 

There is another class yet, with whom I shall ex- 
postulate on the propriety of receiving the sacrament, 
which they are but too apt to neglect, apparently from 
an idea that they have no concern in it. They claim to 
be lookers-on, like spectators at a contest for life and 
death, without any interest in the event. I mean the 
numerous persons who fill the very useful and credit- 
able station of servants and dependants, apprentices, 
and labourers for hire. These are apt to consider Sun- 
day merely as a holiday^ or rather vacation from labour; 
a day in which they are to adorn themselves above their 
rank and station, and to sacrifice to the idols of false 
pleasure and expensive vanity. To think of the sacra- 
ment or any other serious, affecting duty, on a day de- 
voted to feasting, to jolHty, and to wandering from house 
to house, v/ould throw a gloom upon it, inconsistent with 
their schemes of enjoyment. Thoughtlessness and folly 
mark their conduct on that day, more than on any other 
day in the week; a day intended for their improvement in 
all virtue, honesty, and true wisdom. What! have they 
not souls, as well as their superiors in rank ? Is not our 
God their God ? Did not Christ die for them, as well 
as for their masters or employers? Think of these 
things, and let not the sabbath-day, intended to pro- 
mote your salvation, contribute, more than any other 
day, to your destruction* Would you have it a day of 
pleasure? In order to be such, let it be a day of inno- 
cence, a day of devotion, a day of rational, sober, dis- 
creet recreation. 


Think not that religion will destroy your cheerful- 
ness. No; it will promote it. Nothing gives so fine 
spirits as a clear conscience; a bosom that feels the 
satisfaction of having discharged its duties to God and 
man. Then recreation and harmless pleasure are truly 
delightful. The sweet, in such circumstances, is with- 
out bitter; the rose without a thorn ; the honey without 
a sting. I have ever recommended a cheerful religio7ii 
because all religion was certainly intended to make men 
happy ; and because gloominess, moroseness, and seve- 
rity, which some persons require in religious duties, 
originate in weakness and erroi, and lead to folly, 
misery and madness ; to all that is despicable or deplo- 
rable. As religion is the comfort, superstition and 
fanaticism are the bane and curse of human nature. Let 
us ever beware of excess, even in good and laudable 
pursuits; for wisdom, and virtue, and happiness, alt 
dwell with the golden mediocrity. Our exhortations 
to religion must indeed be warm and animated; be- 
cause tiie greater part of men err, rather in not reach- 
ing the deJi^rable point, than by going beyond it. Yet 
cautions are also necessary, lest the v/illing, the zealous, 
the tender-hearted, should be urged, by their own ardour 
and by persuasion, to dangerous and unhappy extremes. 

Vv^e have, I think, seen that the lively, animating 
summons contained in the words, '' Awake, thou that 
^^ sleepest," is necessary to a great part of mankind, 
whose feelings are become callous; and who (to repeat 
the emphatic words of scripture) have a heart of stone, 
instead of a heart of flesh; necessary to many, who are, 
upon the whole, commendable for the general decency 
and propriety of their conduct in the world, as the v/orld 
is now circumstanced. Even good kind of people, as 
they are called, and appear to men, are not sufficiently 
awakened to the calls of rehgious duty. They acquiesce 
in decencies, decorums, plausibilities, a.nd the cold, fpiv. 


mal morality which may be practise<l on the most self- 
ish motives, for worldly interest, for health and for plea- 
sure. They are not sufficiently sensible of the gosfiel 
truths, its great promises, and its dreadful denunciations 
of vengeance. They are virtuous heathens ; followers 
of the religion of nature, not that of Christ. The world 
approves them, and therefore they approve themselves; 
but can the world save them? Can they save them- 
selves? No; assuredly, if Christianity be not a fable, 
they must come t6 Christ for salvation. 

Persons who live in pleasure, that is, who make vain 
and sensual pleasure the sole business of their lives, 
are expressly said, in scripture, to be dead while they 
live. They appear with smiles of j^er/ze^w^;/ gaiety; are 
often furnished with riches and honours; but yet, in the 
scripture sense, they are dead, if they are not alive to 
Christ. What avail their worldly ornaments? The 
SOUL takes no real delight in them, because itnatm^ally 
aspires to higher things. So have I seen a nosegay of 
tulips, and pinks, and roses, put into the cold hand of a 
dead corpse, in a coffin, while the poor image of what 
once was man, could neither see the gaudy tints, nor 
smell the fragrance. 

Shall we then not cry aloud, as we are commanded, 
m the hope of awakening such unthinking persons to a 
sense of their own miserable condition, and the hopes 
afforded by the gospel ? Happy for ourselves and our 
fellow-creatures, if we could address a slumbering world 
with the trump of an archangel, uttering these enliven- 
ing words, " Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from 
" the dead; and Christ shall give thee light." 

All persons whatever, however decent and moral, , 
that are in an unregenerated state, are represented, in 
the strong metaphorical language of scripture, as dead ; 
but happily it is a death from which we may raise our- 

T 2 


selves by prayer; and returning life will be cherishea 
by heavenly influence. 

For what says the friendly call? "Christ shall give 
" thee light.'' The sun of righteousness shall shine 
into the dark chambers of thy bosom, dispel the shades 
of ignorance, and disperse the phantoms of folly and 
vanity that sported in the sunless region. Think, poor 
darkling mortal, what is promised tliee ! " Christ shall 
" give thee light." As the sun in the morning breaks 
into thy chamber windows, and thou arisest from thy 
bed to feel his genial beams, and see all nature re- 
assuming her beautiful colours; so the light of Christ, 
the light of grace, shall beam upon the soul, by the 
operation of the Holy Ghost ^ and thou shalt arise, and 
see the truth as it is in Jesus — se,e the beauty of holi- 
ness — the day-spring from on high — feel new vital 
warmth glowing in thy bosom; and " though you have 
" lien among the fiots^y^ (in the mire and rubbish of 
worldly vanity,) " yet shall you be as a dove, which hath 
" silver wings, and her feathers like gold." 

After living the few days of our pilgnmage thus awake 
to God, awake to Christ, awake to the blessed influences 
of the Holy Ghost, your body, indeed, shall lie down, 
and pay that debt to nature, which we must all pay : yet 
your sould shall separate from it, (though not without a 
pang, yet) full of hope. Old age, or disease, or ac- 
cidents, will indeed bring your poor, frail, perishing 
flesh (for such is that of the strongest, the youngest, the 
most beautiful of us all) to the grave ; your bones must 
lie down in the dust, from which they were taken, and 
the mourners shall go about the streets ; but let them not 
mour without hofie. Thy flesh shall rest in hope ; peace- 
ful shalt thou sleep till the morning of the resurrection; 
when the truxnpet shall sound, and a voice shall be heard 

* Psalm Ixviii. 13 


sweeter than the sweetest music to the reviving eat: 
" Awake ! awake ! thou that sleepest^ and arise from the 
" dead, and I will give thee lights life^ glory ^ and immor- 
" tality. Sleep no more!— Arise, put on thy beautiful 
" garments! — My glory is rising upon thee. Go — 
" blessed Spirit^ — and, in the vesture of a new and glo- 
" riiied body, shine among the spirits of just men made 
" perfect — thyself a Spirit, an immortal Spirit. Sleep 
" no more in the arms of death ; for death is subdued ; 
" and, as, like a faithful soldier, you watched with me 
" in the militant state, you shall now join me in the tri- 
^' umphal. Sleep no more the sleep of death ; but risej. 
" and exult in light ineffable 1" 


On the Peace of GoDj that calm and composed Sfate^, 
which is produced by the Christian PniLosoPHr^ and 
is unknown to the Epicurean^ Stoicj and all other Phi- 
losophy^ antient and moder?!. 

JrL GENERAL prospect of human life presents a 
sceneof turbulence, of which the troubled ocean is an em- 
blem. But there is a sweet, a peaceable, a tranquil state of 
self-possession, whether external circumstances are pros- 
perous or adverse, which constitutes the most solid 
happiness of which human nature is capable. This 
enjoyment, arising from moderate desires, a regulated 
imagination, lively hopes, and full confidence in the 
Deity, is that chief good^ which philosophers have vainly 
sought in the schools, by the strongest efforts of unas- 
sisted reason. What then can point it out, if reason^ 
improved by science to the highest degree, has not been 
^ble to find it? The answer is obvious. The religion 


of Jesus Christ offers to its sincere votaries the peace 
OF God nvhich fiasseth all understanding ; a kind and 
degree of happiness, which no language can clearly 
express; which the understanding cannot adequately 
conceive, though the heart can feel it, with the most 
delightful experience. 

" The peace of God,*' (says the world,) " what is it?" 
They know it not. Many have no conception of hap- 
piness, independent of external circumstances ; the toys 
of childhood, protracted to age. They do not search 
for it in theinselvesy but in the eyes of the world. All 
their enjoyments must be violent, sensual, or, at least, 
OSTENTATIOUS. Admire them, talk of them^ flatter 
them; let the diurnal papers exhibit their names in 
capitals, and fashion crowd to their door; let their 
equipages be splendid, and tlieir mansions magnificent, 
their egress and regress recorded in the daily histories^ 
or they sicken in the midst of health ; they pine in the 
midst of abundance ; the rose on their bosom loses its 
fragrance ; the honey on their palates, its flavour. To 
be celebrated^ even for folly, even for vice, is to them an 
enviable notoriety; to be unnoticed in public circles, 
in the midst of every real blessing and solid comfort at 
home, infuses a bitter into all those sweets, which God 
in his bounty has lavished. 

But the felicity arising from the peace of God is 
neither the tumultuous extasy of the fanatic, nor the 
noisy merriment of the prodigal* It seeks no plaudits ; 
it makes no parade. It blazes not out like the sudden 
eruptions of a volcano; but burns like the vestal lire, 
clear and constant, with a warmth that invigorates, 
without scorching; with a light that illuminates, with- 
out dazzling the visual faculty. 

Thus desirable, how is the peace of God to be 
obtained? it is an important question. Let us enter on 
the research* If we enter on it with dispositions truly 


humble and sincere, there is little doubt but we shall 
experience the truth of that comfortable declaration: 
" Ask, and it shall be given ; seek, and ye shall find." 

What said the v/isdom of pagan antiquity, on the 
means of securing peace or tranquility? Much that was 
plausible; little to the purpose. 

It was the advice of an antient philosopher: " Sub« 
" ject yourself to reason, and you shall be reduced 
'' to no otlier subjection." Experience, however, has 
evinced, that human reason, under a variety of circum- 
stances, is too weak and fallible to be depended upon, 
for the full security of human happiness. What he 
vainly attributed to reason, may with justice be ascribed 
to religion. Religion, duly understood, and duly at- 
tended to, is capable of giving much of that freedom 
from passion and perturbation, to which philosophy in 
vain pretended. Not that I mean to arrogate too much, 
or claim more than truth and experience will allow, even 
in favour of religion. While man preserves the nature 
which God gave him-^ he must continue subject to the. 
transient impulse cf those sensations from external 
objects which excite passion, and disturb repose. 

All I contend for isj that religion, vital religion, 
the rehgion of the heart, is the most powerful auxili- 
ary of reason, in waging war with the passions, and 
promoting that sweet connposure which ccnstitutes the 
peace of God. Reason may point out wliat is right, 
but she wants authority in the minds of most men, 
to enforce obedience to her comniands. Here religion 
steps in with majestic mien, and glides the sanction of a, 
law to the dictates of discretion. 

I recommend, therefore, to him who wishes to obtain 
the peace of God, a diffide?ice in human reason, however 
strong by nature, and however improved by study. A 
confidence in it leads to that pride which God resisteth. 
But I mean this diffidence to he chiefly confined to the 


Operations of reason in religious disquisitions. Things 
above reason are not to be rejected as contrary to rea- 
son, but to be received with a reverential awe, and a 
devout submission of the understanding to the God who 
gave it. 

He, then, who wishes to tranquillize his bosom, must 
have recourse to more powerful medicines than those 
of an empirical philosophy. Philosophy has been tried, 
from the earliest ages to the present hour, with little 
success. Philosophy is cold and inactive. She may 
influence and direct the understanding; bivt she cannot 
warm the affections with the love of God and virtue. 
Sentiment is necessary to impel the heart, to guide 
or regulate even the virtuous passions; and no senti- 
ment is so efficacious for this purpose as the clevotionaL 
The word of God^ as the strong language of scripture 
expresses it, is quick and fiowerfal^ and sharfier than any 
two-edged cword^ piercing even to the dividing asunder of 
soul a7id spirit^ and of the joints and marrow ; and is a 
discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart* 

From the shallow streams of philosophy, we must 
hasten to the living fountain of the Christian religion. 
It is the influence of God on the heart of man, the 
divine operation of the Holy Spirit on the spirit of 
human creatures, which alone can bestow a permanent 
tranquility ; that peace of God, which passeth all under- 
standing; that peace, which no human eloquence can 
clearly explain; which no human sagacity can, by its 
own unassisted efforts, procure; but which the devout 
heart of the believer feels with joy and gratitude. 

This is the polar influence which can alone fix the 
tremulous needle, and point it directly to Heaven; 
streaming into the heart of man an emanation of divi- 

Let us then take a view of the fruits of the Spirit, as 
they are beautifully described by the Apostle. The 


Jruit of the Spirit is love^ joy^ fieace^ long stiffering^ gen^ 
tleness^ goodness^ faith^ meekness^ temperance. — These 
lovely virtues have a natural tendency to produce equa- 
nimity, self-possession, a serene, placid, delightful frame 
of mind, such as the sages of old conceived, indeed, but 
could not either procure or communicate. These make 
an earth a Heaven, and render it evident, beyond a 
doubt, that the true Christian, after all the boasts of the 
gay voluptuary, is the real man of pleasure. 

The worldly man of pleasure is indeed, for the most 
part, a man of pleasure only in name. His pains, upon 
the whole, greatly outweigh his pleasures ; or his insen- 
sibility, contracted by excess, leaves him in the midst 
of all that luxury can spread before him, in ^ state very 
remote from the enjoyments of the temperate, humble, 
and sincere believer. 

It would not be right to describe things in a declama- 
tory and rhetorical manner, so as to violate the truth of 
representation, for the sake of maintaining even the 
cause of religion* But experience will justify me in 
asserting, that the numerous tribes in the gay and ele- 
vated circles, who pursue happiness in dissipation only, 
and never think of God, but to swear with levity by his 
name, exhibit many external signs of singular irritation, 
and public misery. Tbey appear to have no resources 
in their own bosom. They depend on precarious ex- 
ternals, on the will and €o-operation of others, for all 
their pleasures. Change of place is their grand 
remedy for their uneasy sensations*. Like a sick man, 

* Lucretius well describes this resdessness : 

Commutare locum^ quasi onus deponere possit. 
Mxit scepeforas magnis ex eedibus ille. 
Esse dotni quern pertcesum est, subitoque rcoertit; 
^uippeforis nihilo melius qui sentiat esse. 
Currlt agens mannas ad villam; hie praecipitentur 


who turns from sids to side on his bed, in hope of that 
sleep which his fever denies, they fly to various scenes 
of pubhc resort, in the midst of amusements, unamused ; 
in the midst of pleasure, unpleased ; and reluctantly re- 
turn to their home, where God has given them a good 
inheritance* They have used, or rather abused, all their 
comforts. They are glutted with pleasure. Nothing 
has the grace of novelty to recommend it. Behold their 
dissatisfied countenances, and their artificial smiles, to 
hide them at the gay places of public amusement. 
Their appetite grown dull, this world affording no new 
joy, and the next never in their thoughts, they are, at 
first, the slaves oi folly ^^ and, at last, the victims of des- 

How different is it with him who has happily been 
tinctured with religion in his early age, and learned to 
seek, as his chief good, " the peace of God, which pass- 
" eth all understanding?" Great fieace have they that love 
thy law"^'. I do not affirm that the Christian religion 
pretends, like the arrogant philosophy of the stoics, to 
place man out of the reach of evil, or to render him 
insensible of misery* A certain portion of evil and 
misery is to be the lot of every mortal; and wise pur- 
poses are effected by chastisement, when suffered to 
fjperate in its regular manner in the production of 
humility, godly sorrow, repentance, and amendment. 
But this I say, and am justified in the assertion by the 
scriptures of God, and by the experience of many pious 

Auxiliufn tecfis quasi Jerre ardentilnis instans : 
Oscitat extemplo, tetigit cum hniina villie. 
Aut abit in soniniim gravis ; atque oblivia queer it; 
Aut etiam properaiis tirbem petite atque revisit. 
Hoc se quisqiie modojitgit .• at, quod scilicet y utjit, 
Effiig&'c baud potis est, ingratis bcsretj et angit. 

Lucre Tiirsv 
* Psalm cxix. 165. 


believers, there is nothing which can lessen the evils of 
life so much, or teach a man to bear them with such 
fortitude, as a full dependence on God, and a habit of 
seeking pleasure in warm yet rational devotion. It will 
ever be found by those who thus seek it faithfully. 

It is not, indeed, to be believed, but that God, whose 
Providence superintends the animal and vegetable world, 
and the inanimate creation, should watch over the spi- 
ritual with peculiar care, and conduct it by his imme- 
diate influence. A soul, therefore, which, by piety and 
charity, humbly endeavours to obey the revealed will of 
God, and to render itself acceptable to the eye which is 
too pure to behold iniquity without offence, will proba- 
bly be sure oi iiecuUar regard. No evil so great shall 
happen to it ; no misfortune so heavy shall befall it, but 
that a way to escape shall be opened, or a supernatural 
powder of bearing it afforded. A ray of sunshine will 
beam upon it from the fountain of spiritual light, when 
the world presents nothing but dark clouds. Like the 
Alpine mountain, the good and devout Christian rises 
above the clouds, and enjoys a glorious sunshine, which 
erring mortals below him cannot partake. He who 
enjoys the peace of God, may be said to resemble the 
halcyon, whose nest floats on the glassy sea, undisturbed 
by the agitation of the waves. 

Men deem themselves fortunate in obtaining the 
patronage of a fellows-creature like themselves, elevated 
by the favour of a prince or by his own industry, above 
the common level. They feel themselves safe under 
his protection, from the evils of poverty. Yet what is 
the protection of man, of princes and nobles, to the pro- 
tection of the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, the 
Ruler of Princes? But the pious Christian believes 
firmly that he enjoys the unspeakable advantage. It 
is a continual feast to him. It is a perennial spring of 
living v/ater. In adversity or prosperity, his CHiEr 


GOOD remains like the mountain, which cannot be 
moved. It is the rock of ages, on which he builds 
the fair fabric of his fehcity. 

What is there, in all the pomp of the world, and the 
enjoyments of luxury, the gratification of passion, com- 
parable to the tranquil delight of a good conscience F It is 
the health of the mind. It is a sweet perfume, that diffuses 
its fragrance over every thing near it without exhausting 
its store. Unaccompanied with this, the gay pleasures 
of the world are like brilliants to a diseased eye, music 
to a deaf ear, wine in an ardent fever, or dainties in the 
languor of an ague. To lie down on the pillow, after 
a day spent in temperance, in beneficence, and piety, 
how sweet is it! How different from the state of him, 
who reclines, at an unnatural hour, with his blood in- 
flamed, his head throbbing with wine and gluttony, his 
heart aching with rancorous malice, his thoughts totally 
estranged from him who has protected him in the day, 
and will watch over him, ungrateful as he is, in the 
night season 1 A good conscience is, indeed, the peace 
of God. Passions lulled to sleep, clear thoughts, cheer- 
ful temper, a disposition to be pleased with every obvi- 
ous and innocent object around; these are the effects of 
a good conscience ; these are the things which consti- 
tute happiness; and tb ise condescend to dwell with the 
poor man, in his humble cottage in the vale of obscu- 
rity. In the magnificent mansion of the proud and vain, 
glitter the exteriors of happiness, the gilding,, the trap- 
ping, the pride, ^nd the pomp; but in the decent habi- 
tation of piety is oftener found the downy nest of hea- 
venly peace; that solid good, of which the parade of 
the vain, the frivolous, and voluptuous, is but a shadowy 

I see a crowd, travelling, by choice^ on the Sunday, 
(the day of rest appointed for man and beast, by the 
benevolent being who made them,) with a speed that 


almost outstrips the wind. Whither are they hasttn- 
ing? To the regions of delight; some place of modish 
resort; where the sound of the viol invites; where the 
song, and the dstnce, and the festive board, promise 
pleasure without alloy. Join the train awhile, and mark 
the event. The variety of objects dissipates care for a 
short time ; but weariness soon ensues, and satiety con- 
verts the promised pleasure to indifference, at least, if 
not to pain. And now they return to their /lomcj the 
seat of plenty, with countenances that by no means ex- 
press satisfaction at w^hat is just past; that satisfaction 
which might have been expected, considering the pre- 
paration, the expence, the haste, and the eagerness, 
v/hich appeared in the commencement and progress of 
the fashionable excursion. Piety, charity, domestic 
comfort, have all been sacrificed at the shrine of 
Fashion ; and the fickle, unfeelhig deity has bestowed 
nothing in return, but weariness, languor, and a total 
disrelish of the pleasures of simplicity, the sweets of 
innocence, the feast of benevolence, and the enlivening 
ardour of devotion. 

To contrast the scene, I picture a regular, respecta- 
ble, religiousy^?m77/, spending their time, after the per- 
formance of their social, public, or professional duties, 
around the domestic fire-side, in peace and love. Every 
countenance is illuminated with cheerfulness. No tedi- 
um, no exhausted spirits, no fiale^ ghastly visages, from 
the vigils of the card-table ; no envious feelings, no jea- 
lousy nor rage at the sight of superior splendor. Pleased 
with a well-spent day, they fall on their knees before 
they retire to repose, and thank the Giver of all comfort 
for the mercies already received ; and pray, with hum- 
ble confidence, for protection in the night, and continu- 
ance of mercy during the remainder of life. Cheerflil 
and refreshed, they rise in the morning, and go forth 
to the labours of life, chanting the carols of pious grati- 


tude. Here is enjoyment of existence ; this is life in- 
deed*, with a perpetual relish; not attended with the 
tumultuary ardours of a fever, but the gentle, pleasant 
warmth of sound health. 

You, therefore, who, blessed by Providence with pro- 
fusion of wealth, are enabled to vcidk.t f^leasure your con- 
stant pursuit, try the exfieriment^ whether pleasure of the 
purest kind is not to be drawn from the fountains of 
piety and divine love. Amusements and pleasures, 
commonly so called, are not to be rigidly renounced. 
They are not only allowable, but desirable and useful; 
solacing poor human nature in its sorrows, and pro- 
moting, by temporary relaxation, the energies of virtue. 
But surely it is possible to retain religious principles 
inviolate, and to be uniformly actuated by religious sen- 
timents, in a life occasionally diversified by cheerful, 
and moderate, and innocent amusements. Only keeji 
your heart nvith all diligence. Let your imagination be 
pleased; your thoughts occasionally diverted; but let 
your heart be unseduced from the love of him who first 
loved you. Let your affections still point, like the nee- 
dle to the north, wherever the vessel is blown by the 
winds, towards God. Your hands may be employed, 
in the avocations of social life and civil society : but let 
your ?ieart be at leisure for the things which belong unto 
your peace ; which will render your life constantly cheer- 
ful, and your death as little painful as the struggles of 
nature will admit. 

It is never improper to caution the Christian, who 
seeks the fieace of God^ against such a degree of imtias- 
sioned religion as tends by its violence^ to destroy all true 
devotion, or to abbreviate its continuance. There cer- 
tainly are religious persons, who, through the disorder 
of their imaginations, and weakness of judgment, seem 

* ffoc est viv^re^ 


not to enjoy that tranquility^ of jieace of God^ which 
religion is caculated to produce. 

Gentleness and moderation contribute to the increase 
as well as duration of our most refined enjoyments. 
We see nothing of extreme rigour, nothing of unnatu- 
ral austerity, nothing of intemperate ardour, in the 
devotion of our Saviour or his disciples; so that they 
seem to be no less repugnant to the gospel, than to 
reason and philosophy. Nothing violently passionate is 
durable ; no, not even the ecstacies of religion. Violent 
passion is like a flood after great rains. However it 
may rush in torrents for a day, it will exhaust itself, 
and dwindle to the shallow stream, scarcely creeping 
within the banks of its natural channel. 

The passions are the chief destroyers of our peace ; 
the storms and tempests of the moral world. To ex- 
tirpate them is impossible, if it were desirable. But tq 
regulate them by habitual care, is not so difficult, and is 
certainly worth all our attention. Many men do evi- 
dently acquire a wonderful command of their passions, 
in the presence of their superiors, or when their tem- 
poral interest is concerned. And shall wc not attempt 
it in the presence of God dwelling in us^ and for an ever- 
lasting interest? 

The task is facilitated by the grace of God, wiiich 
certainly co-operates with man in every virtuous endea- 
vour. To Jesus Christ, then, let us have recourse, 
as to the best philosopher. He w^ho said to the sea, 
^' Be still," will calm our passions, as he smoothed the 
waves. Peace was the legacy which he left to his fol- 
lowers. Hear his bland and soothing words : " Peace 
^» 1 leave with you ; my peace I give unto you ; not as 
" the world giveth give I unto you." " The work of 
" righteousness," says Isaiah, " is peace ; and the effect 
^i of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever." 
** Grace and peace be multiplied unto you," says St. 

u 2 


Peter, " through the knowledge of God, and of our Lord 
" Jesus Christ." 

" Not as the world giveth,'* says our Saviour, " give 
*^ I peace/' The world speaks peace, when there is no 
peace. Dissipation, variety of worldly business, worldly 
cares, worldly company, riot, noise, intemperance, pro- 
duce a TUMULT, which banishes reflection, but cannot 
cause serenity, self-possession, and composure. The 
sick man, who has recom^se to opium and strong drink 
to lull his malady in a deceitful oblivion, increases his 
pain and his danger. 

The Christian seeks ficacc^ by seeking pardon of God 
by repentance. ^' Acquaint thyself with God, and be 
" at peace." He seeks peace, by keeping a watch on 
those great destroyers of it, his passions. On these 
tumultuous waves he pours the oil of Christian love, 
and they are calm. Thus he lives ; — at peace with him- 
self, at peace with his neighbour, and at peace with his 

Thus he lives ; and when he quits this earthly scene^ — 
(like a river, whose banks are flowery, and whose waters 
limpid and smooth,) — he glides, unruflled, into the ocean 
of eternity. Go, then, gentle Spirit, to the realms of 
peace, and enjoy the peace of God ! — in the bosom of 
iky father, and our father*. Very pleasant hast thou 
been unto us^^ during the time of thy sojourning here* 
Dove-like were thy manners ; for the Spirit, which de- 
scended like a dove, inspired thee with every amiable 
disposition, and above all, with the love of peace, 
national and public, as well as internal: and blesseb 
ARE THE peace-makers; thcirs shall be the peace of 
God which passeth all understanding, in the kingdOxAi 
of Heaven. 

^ John, XX. 17. t 2 Sam. i. 26. 


In the kingdoms of the earthy indeed, there is seldom 
any lasting peace. What Christian but must drop a 
tear over the fertile realms of Christendom crimsoned 
with human blood; shed at the instigation of the spirit 
of Apollyon, or the destroyer, taking bis abode in 
hearts which have rejected the Holy Ghost, the spirit 
of love, the God of peace ! May the rulers of the world 
7'eceive the Spirit of Christy and heal the wounds of the 
people; so shall they experience, in the hour of their 
own distress, the peace of God which passeth all under- 
standing, and their crowns shall be immortal. 


General Reflections on Happiness — Errors in the Pur-- 
suit of it — JS!*o sublunary Happiness perfect. — Christ's 
invitation to the wretched. — Christian Philosopht 
affords the highest earthly Satisfaction.'-^Its Summum 
BoNUM is a State of Grace ^ or the Enjoyment of divine 

X O what purpose are laboured declamations 
on the misery of man ? He can want no studied proofs 
of a wretchedness which he sees in others, and feels in 
his own bosom. To expatiate on the symptoms of a 
disease, without pointing out a cure or an alleviation, is 
only to add to the pain, by increasing the impatience of 
the sufferer. 

After all the melancholy pictures of human life, it 
must be allowed, that there is much comfort in the 
world, blended with its misery. Look abroad, from the 
library into real life, and you will see a general appear- 
ance of cheerfulness. Though clouds intervene, sun- 
shine predominates. The labourer and mechanic chaut 


over their daily toil; and though they pause to wipe the 
sweat off* their brow, return to their work, after a short 
but hearty meal, and the sweetest slumbers, not only 
without a murmur, but with alacrity. 

The prospect of reward at the close of a laborious 
day, the vicissitudes of rest and labour, the succession 
of ideas in active employment, the warmth and agita- 
tion of the animal spirits consequent on exertion, super- 
induce a delightful oblivion of care, and render the 
state of those who are supposed to be the least happy, 
the poor and laborious, frequently most pleasurable. 

Nor let the higher ranks among us be enviously and 
malignantly misrepresented. Many in the higher ranks 
devote their time to business and pleasure alternately^ 
and though the harji aiid the viol^ the tabret^ and pipc^ 
andwine^ are in their feasts ;'^ yet some of them, guided 
by prudence, moderation, and piety, lake a delight, at 
the same time, in regarding the Kvork of the Lord^ and 
co7isidering the ofieration of his hand;-\ suffering neither 
pleasure nor business to interrupt their endeavour to im- 
prove in grace, and to exercise themselves in works of 
devotion and charity. With respect to charity, which 
distinguishes this age and nation above all the nations 
on the face of the earth, by whom are the great estab- 
lishments for all infirmities and casualties raised and 
supported, but by the rich and noble, by successful men 
in business, who most benevolently endeavour to com- 
inunicate the happiness to which they were born, or 
with which Providence has blessed their exertions? 
Happy in themselves, they endeavour to deserve or 
sanctify their prosperity, by imitating him who gave it, 
in acts of most disinterested beneficence. For a proof of 
this, look into our public diaries, and the registers of 
great charities; and see how eagerly the rich and great 
contribute to their support. 

* Isa. V. 12, t Ibi^- 


So that, upon the whole, there is certainly an a/i/icar- 
ance of goodness and of joy on the face of hunnan 
affairs; and this appearance, in many cases, is, most 
certainly, supported by reality. The world abounds 
with good as well as evil. Our disposition and discon- 
tent too often poison and embitter the rich repast. 

It is indeed evident that there is more good than evil 
in the world. Plenty is certainly more common than 
scarcity; health than sickness; ease than pain. And 
this is so far confirmed by experience, as to render the 
descriptions of human misery, which we read in declam- 
atory harangues, worthy of little credit and attention. 
Few, coinpMi^ativcly^ know what it is to be completely 
miserable. Who of us, in this country, does not every 
day enjoy some solid comfort? A vast majority is 
warmly clothed, plentifully fed, and accommodated with 
a house for shelter, and a bed for repose. 

Yet let the balance be held evenly. There is, we all 
experience, an abundance of evil in the world ; and it 
is aggravated and actually increased by fear, and the 
activity of a lively imagination. 

It is true also, that the best of our pleasures and en- 
joyments are rather amusive, than perfectly and durably 
satisfactory. For who ever declared himself, in the 
midst of grandeur, pleasure, opulence, happy to the 
utmost extent of his wishes? Who but, in some mo- 
ments, has felt a sentiment of discontent? Who ever 
said, " I am now in that settled state of enjoyment and 
'< perfect contentment, that I conceive not a wish of ad- 
" dition to it ; I look not to a future day for an increase ; 
" I acquiesce; free at once from hope and from fear?'* 
An involuntary sigh rises in the height of our pros- 

I shall think myself not uselessly employed in the 
endeavour to discover the causes of man's failure in 


search of satisfaction. What is it that dashes his sweet- 
est atid most plentiful cup with a bitter mixture? 

In the first place, man raises his expectations too 
high; beyond what nature and experience justify ; when 
he ventures to promise himself any happiness without 
defect, and without abatement; a sun without spot; a 
sky without a cloud. The world is not our home. The 
world is now old; and the experiment of attaining to 
perfection of happiness has been tried by every indivi- 
dual that ever existed in it. Many have left on record 
an account of their experiments, and a uniform avowal 
of disappointment. He, therefore, that would taste the 
happiness allowed to human nature, must learn to take 
aim at marks within his reach, to be duly sensible of 
little advantages and common blessings, daily exemp- 
tion from evil, from pain, from debt, from extreme want, 
from infamy, from exile, from imprisonment. How 
much happier is he who has a sufficiency of food, of 
raiment, a comfortable house, and a warm bed, than 
millions of the human race, in savage climes ! Yet these 
things are little thought of by those who murmur at the 
evils of life, and pine with the misery of their own situ- 
ation. Something unpossessed still torments; yet all 
wish to APPEAR happy. 

Many things which, in the midst of our complaints, 
we possess and enjoy in security, would perhaps render 
half our fellow-creatures rapturously deUghted, though 
they, who were born to them, pay them not the least 
attention, in the eagerness of reaching after something 
77207T, something /lighter^ something better^ to be enjoy* 
ed at ?i future day ; that day, which never comes, to morr 
tal man. The possession of our senses entire, of our 
limbs uninjured ; of knowledge and skill, of friends and 
companions, is often overlooked, though it would be the 
ultimate wish of many, who, as far as we can judge, 
deserve it as much as ourselves. 


Men always compare themselves with those who are 
above them, without once looking into the vale below, 
where thousands stand gazing at them with envy and 
admiration. By this unfortunate comparison, their own 
good things lose much of their value in their own esteem, 
and sometimes become totally insipid. 

When we consider the number and variety of evils, 
almost intolerable, in the life of man, we should learn 
to esteem every disaster incident to human nature, 
which has not yet fallen to our lot, as a just cause of 
self-congratulation, complacency, and gratitude. But 
through ENVY, we turn from the misfortunes of others; 
and think only of those advantages which give them a 
superiority over our own condition. If we see a man 
deaf, or dumb, or blind, or lame, or poor, or in disgrace, 
we do not derive comfort from the consideration of our 
own exemption from his defects and calamities ; but if 
we observe another adorned with beauty, endued w ith 
strength, elevated to a high rank, or loaded with riches, 
we secretly repine that we have not been equally blessed 
with worldly prosperity. 

But let us consider how many there are, who would 
envy every one who has but health and liberty. Go 
into an hospital. Visit a poor-house. Inspect a prison. 
Compare your own health, your own competency, your 
own liberty, hard as you deem your lot, with the friend- 
less wretch, who lies in the agony of pain, or languor 
of disease, with no help but the cold hand of official 
charity. No kind relative to sooth with his bland voice, 
to close his eyes, and shed a tear on his departure. 
Compare your lot with his who is loaded with chains, 
where the iron enters his soul, in a cold and damp dungeon. 
Compare it with that of your poorer neighbours, at the 
next door. Compare it with that of all the sons and 
daiighters of affliction, a large family — every where to 
be found. 


Men are, indeed, too apt to despise what are called 
little advantages, common comforts, daily pleasures, 
homely conveniencies; whereas they are often of the 
highest importance ; as the general happiness of life is 
usually made up of particulars, which appear minute, 
but the sum of which makes a great total. — We wait till 
to-morrow to be happy ; alas ! why not to-day ? Shall we 
be younger? Are we sure we shall be healthier? Shall we 
see better, hear better, taste better? Look at some 
aged miser and judge. Then why, in the name of 
reason, cannot we be happy to-day, with a competency 
andia clear conscience? 

We are unwilling to be satisfied with the pleasures 
of simplicity, and the delights of nature. The beasts 
around us are contented. The lark soars, and sings in 
exultation; but man, forgetful of nature, must have re- 
course to ar^tj to procure satisfaction ; and things seem 
to have little relish, which are not seasoned by difficulty 
of attainment. The greater part of worldlings, especi- 
ally gamesters, esteem mere tranquility of mind, and 
ease of body, a state of insipidity. 

But, considering the number of evils in life, man 
should learn to esteem every one which he has escaped, 
a just cause of self-congratulation and of gratitude. The 
absence of evil is a real good. Peace, quiet, exemption 
from pain, should be a continual feast. The aching of 
a tooth may deprive us of all complacency in the midst 
of plenty and magniiicence. A fit of the gout or stone 
may make a crown of gold and emeralds, a crown of 
thorns. Then while we have no pain, no ach, no sick- 
ness, why do we not enjoy our tranquility with pious 

Here seems to be the grand error. There is a more 
general desire to apfiear happy, than to be so. Men 
live in the eyes of their neighbours. They wish to pos- 
sess ^glittering happiness, careless of its solidity. They 


are desiroiis of being envied^ talked of; and, in reaching 
after the shadow, they drop the substance. 

Such, and many more, are the mistakes of men, in 
the pursuit of happiness* They all originate from a 
desertion of truth and simplicity; from a neglect of God 
and grace,; from vanity, pride, folly, and vice. 

But even the wise, the virtuous, the religious, and 
the comparatively happy, are still no more than men; 
and, being men, are subject to much real misery, to 
bodily pains, diseases, infirmity, decay, and worldly 
losses and crosses. The gardens of the w^orld produce 
only deciduous flowers. Perennial ones must be sought 
in the delightful regions of Heaven. Roses without 
thorns are the growth of Paradise alone. 

Thither then let us repair. And happily, we are 
called by an invitation, no less urgent than kind and 
merciful. " Come unto me,'' says a friendly voice, 
^' all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will 
" give you rest."* Let us consider the words properly, 
and allow them their full weight upon our hearts. The 
Redeemer of mankind, commissioned from the Creator, 
utters, from his own mouth, the gracious summons, 
" Come unto me." As if he had said : 

" Your own wisdom, your own endeavours, unassisted^ 
" are insufficient to secure your happiness, and rescue 
" you from misery. Come unto me^ all ye that labour 
" and are heavy laden^ and I will give you rest.'* And 
who is there among us that does not labour? and who 
is there that is not heavy laden ? and who does not want 
rest in the pilgrimage of life ? The burden of our sins, 
the burden of our diseases, the burden of our years, 
press heavily on us, and gladly would many resign their 
lives in weariness, if there were no danger of a world 
unknown ; where heavier burdens may await him who 
impatiently throws down the load of life% 
* Matt. xi. 28. 



Thanks be to God that Jesus Christ will either lighten 
our load, or give us strength to bear it. He has recon- 
ciled us to God; he has taught us to consider our Maker 
as our friend and father; and that all things will work 
together for our good. ^^ Who will shew us any good ?"* 
Jesus Christ has shewn us our supreme good. 

At his departure from us, he left us not alone; but 
sent his corpforter to us — the Holy Spirit of God; who 
will continue with all true Christians, even to the end of 
the world. It is he who preserves a lively, energetic 
devotion in us; and not only sanctifies and cornforts, 
but illuminates our souls with the beams of grace. The 
hafifiiness of man, after all that has been said upon it, 
depends upon a participation of this holy assistance ; 
upon the divine paraclete, the God of consolation : and 
the miserij oi V[i2iVi is spiritual desertion. 

Here then let us rest. Adieu to the distraction of 
philosophy ; the never-ceasing disputes of unassist- 
ed reason ; the dogmatical decisions of learned pride 
and empty vanity. To be happy, we must be bles- 
sed with the Holy Spirit. In adversity, in prosper- 
ity, in sickness, and in health, our joys will be pure, 
our sorrows lightened with this holy emanation of 
the Deity in our bosoms. Natural evil we must feel ; 
moral evil, and its effects, we shall often experience ; 
but there will still remain in our hearts, if regenerated, 
a cordial drop, a source of sweet enjoyment, of which 
no external circumstances can utterly deprive us. 

The method of obtaining this blessing, is to perform 
our duty to ourselves, our neighbours, and our God, 
with pure hearts, and a sincere desire to conform to the 
will of our Maker. Much time must be given to devo- 
tion ; more to the offices of charity ; much to works of 
industry in our calling or profession ; while some may 

* Psalm iv. 6. 


be indulged to innocent diversion. The heart will thus 
be renovated, and that change produced in our dis- 
positions^ v/hich is termed, in scripture, the becoming a 
7iew man; and, in the language of theology, regeneratio?!. 

Little do they know, who are involved in the con- 
tinual hurry and dissipation of the world, of this won- 
derful change in human nature, and its hightening effect 
on the enjoyment of life. Business and diversions can 
afford no delight ccmnparable to the sweet sensations of 
a soul comfiorsed and tranquillized by divine grace. In 
this state, a charming serenity diffuses itself over the 
mind, which becomes like those happy climes of poesy, 
where every breeze is gentle as a zephyr, the spring 
perpetual, and the earth teems, at the same time, with 
flowers of the finest hue, and fruits of the most delicious 
flavour. Nothing sublunary, indeed, is perfect; but 
there is every reason to believe, that the state of the 
regenerated Christian approaches as nearly to the bliss 
of Heaven, as it is possible, v/hile the soul is encum- 
bered with a mortal body. 

We set out in search of happiness, and here we have 
found it. The question '' who will shew us any good?"* 
is now answered. The chief good of man is a state 
of grace. Other pretentions to it are like shadows to 
the substance ; which they may resemble in shape, while 
they want its essence, its duration, its solidity. What 
v/e have found, let us never lose. Let us build upon a 
rock. Let us daily grow in grace, and in the knowledge 
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thus shall our 
happiness in this life, founded, as it will be, in piety, 
virtue, and the consequent favour of God, rise to more 
perfect happiness in a future state, where the passions 
and appetites of a mortal body shall not weigh down 
the pure ethereal Spirit that, in its present state, with 

* Psalm iv. 


wings all too feeble, continually aspires at its native 

Come then, ye who have vi^andered like bleating sheep, 
distressed and famished, without a shepherd, come to 
Jesus Christ, to the shepherd of your souls, who shall 
feed you in a green pasture, and by the river side. 
Come unto him, for he calls you, all ye that labour, 
and are heavy laden, and he shall give you rest; rest, 
in your passage through this turbulent scene ; and not 
only rest, but fulness of joy at his right hand, when your 
wearied bodies shall lie down in the peaceful grave. 


Apologetical Conclusion; with a Reca/iitulation^ and Addi' 
Hon of a few Particulars respecting the preceding 

A HE world, on a PAiperficial view of it, pre* 
sents an appearance of gaiety. Deeply engaged in the 
pursuit of gain, honour and amusement, few men would 
lament, like Calypso in Telemachus, if they were im- 
mortal, and doomed to remain, in everlasting youth and 
health, on this lower orb, wretched as it is represented. 
But as all are conscious that this is impossible, the next 
endeavour is to drown thought in the whirlpools of dis- 
sipation. Most persons, however, choose to be called 
Christians, and would be not d little disgusted with the 
officious monitor, who should venture to suggest to them 
that, as they seldom or never bestow on Christianity 
the- least solicitude, they can have no just pretentions 
to the name. 

But busy as men are, in pursuits foreign to piety, it 
is certain, that after a few short years, the principal co^-i 


cern of the proudest, brayest, and fairest of the sons and 
daughters of Adam, will be religion. To that friend, 
whom many slight in the season of youth, health, and 
prosperity, they will (secretly, perhaps, but eagerly) fly 
for succour, in the time of age, sorrow, sickness, and 
death. What indeed, is man, in his most flourishing 
state ? What, the most admired, and distinguished indi- 
vidual of us all, but an infirm, dependent creature, sub- 
ject, from the cradle, to ten thousand evils; doomed 
gradually, often painfully, to decay, and certainly, per- 
haps most deplorably, to die? Second childhood, idi- 
otism, insanity, palsy, blindness, deafness, lameness I 
ye are powerful preachers to those who mark well your 
ravages among the sons of men, once most highly dis- 
tinguished for strength, comeliness, genius, all that 
charms the heart, and dazzles the imagination with 
transient brilliancy, 

" Think, mortal," says the poet, " what it is to die." 
Think also, I add, what it is to see those whom we love, 
die before us; die, agonized with pain, after languishing 
with lingering disease; to attend them, with all the blan- 
dishments of affection, without being able to contribute 
to their ease, or add one moment to their existence.' Is 
there any partaker of human nature, however thought- 
less, who, when he feels, actually brought home to his 
own bosom, or to his family, the real calamities, the 
sore distresses of life, will not be anxious to seek com- 
fort of religion, to acquaint himself with God, and be at 
peace with him? His prospect in the world is forlorn and 
dismal. It is a barren land, where no water is. Though 
it flattered him in better days, it now turns away from 
him in the hour of his utmost need. Indeed, if it were 
still incUned to sooth him, it has no cordials for his 
heart, no balsams for his wounded spirit. To Heaven 

X 2 


only he can look for comfort*, and there he will not 
seek it in vain. Religion has confessedly furnished a 
sweet solace, under extreme affliction, when the heart 
sickened at the pleasures of the world, and viewed its 

* As examples of men viell ^nou'w, and recently in the land of 
the living, teach more effectually than any precepts and admoni- 
tions, I have selected the two following, to shew how men of the 
world and men of pleasure are affected by disease and the decays 
of age. 

The following verses, a translation of a Psalm, by the late Mr. 
CoLMAN, who had been much conversant with the gay world, 
exhibit the state of mind to which the liveliest wits and men of 
fashion may be reduced, on a sudden, by sickness, by a stroke 
OF THE PALSY, Or any other malady. 

<< Psalm the 39th imitated in blank verse: 
** I will take heed, I said, I will take heed, 

" Nor trespass with my tongue; will keep my mouth 

** As with a bridle, while the sinner's near. 

<« — Silent I mus'd, and e'en from good refrain *d, 

** But full of pangs, my heart was hot within me ; 

*' The lab 'ring fire burst forth, and loosed my tongue. 
*' Lord, let me know the measure of my days : 

" Make me to know how weak, how frail I am ! 

*' My days are as a span, mine age as nothing, 

'* And man is altogether vanity. 

*< Man walketh in an empty shade ; in vain 

** Disquieting his soul, he heaps up riches, 

«< Knowing not who shall gather them. And now 

*' Where rests my hope, O Lord! it rests with thee. 

" Forgive me mine offences ! Make me not 

«* A scorn unto the foolish ! I was dumb, 

«* And open'd not my mouth, for 'twas thy doing. 

«' O, take thy stroke away ! thy hand destroys me, 

*' When, with rebukes, thou chastenest man for sin, 

«« Thou mak'st his beauty to consume away: 

" Distemper preys upon him, as a moth 

<* Fretting a garment. Ah, what then is man ? 

" Ev'ry man living is but vanity ! 

<* Hear, hear my prayer, O Lord ! O hear my cry ! 

«' Pity my tears! for I am in thy sight 


pageantries with contempt. Bitterer than worm wood. 
ha.s been the cup of adversity; but religion has infused 
a honied drop into it, which has overcome the bitter- 
ness: gloomy as midnight has been the lowering sky, 

<' But as a stranger and a sojourner, 

** As all my fathers were. O, spare me then, 

" Though but a little, to regain my strength, 

" Ere I be taken hence, and seen no more !" Colman. 

Let us hear also Lord Chesterfield, a complete man of 
the world. The following is an extract from one of his letters : 

** I have run," says he, <* the silly rounds of business and plea- s 
" sure, and have done with them all. I have enjoyed all the plea- 
** sures of the world, and consequently Jcnow their futility, and do 
'* not regret their loss. I appraise them at their real value, w^ich 
*« is, in truth, very low. Whereas those that have not e^^feri- 
<* enced, always crver-rate them. They only see their g^ out- 
" side, and are dazzled with the glare. But I have been behind 
«' the scenes, I have seen all the coarse pullies and dirty ropes 
*♦ which exhibit and move the gaudy machines ; and I have seen 
*' and smelt the tallow candles which illuminate the v/hole deco- 
*' ration, to the astonishment and admiration of the ignorant 
*< audience. 

<< When I reflect on what I have seen, what I have heaixi, and 
«< what I have done, I can hardly persuade myself that all that 
** frivolous hurry of bustle and pleasure of the world had any re- 
** ality ; but I look upon all that is passed, as one of those roman- 
" tic dreams, which opium commonly occasions ; and I do by no 
*' means desire to repeat the nauseous dose, for the sake of the 
'< fugitive dream. 

" Shall I tell you that I bear this melancholy situation with that 
" meritorious constancy and resignation which most people boast 
** of? No; for I really cannot help it. I bear it, because I must 
<< bear it, whether I will or no! — I think of nothing but killing 
** Time the best way I can, now that he is become my enemy. — 
«< It is my resolution to sleep zji. tbe carriage durifig the remainder 
*' of the journey.''* 

** You see," says Bishop Home, remarking on this passage, " in 
" how poor, abject, and unpitied a condition, at a time when he 
«< most wanted help and comfort, the world left him and he left 
<< the world." 

948 cirRiS'fiJN PHiLosoPHr* 

but religion has tinged the clouds with gold and purple, 
and opened a prospect of the blue expanse. 

But what religion? There is no religion but the Chris- 
tian, which, in the present state of society, can make 
any claim to general reception. There is none but the 
Christian which can afford the smallest consolation. 
Explode Christianity, as some pretenders to benevo- 
lence seem to wish, and you rob the blind of their surest 
guide, and the wretched, of their best friend and protec- 
tor* You take away the staff of age, the chart and com- 
pass of youth, the pillow of pain, the grand column and 
ornament of human life. Man degenerates, without it, 
to a brute of superior sagacity to do mischief, and supe- 
rior sensibility to suffer pain. 

But there are many, and those able and distinguished 
men in the business of the world, who appear to reject 
Christianity entirely. Many give it no attention* ; but 
contented with the decencies of life, and, coldly comply- 
ing with the outward forms, claim a merit in submitting 
quietly to its ordinances, and making no open opposition 
to it. Others profess to believe all religions equally 
tFue, equally false, and equally useful to the politician* 
Most of these are probably driven, at last, by their dis- 
tress, in the evil days, and in the anguish of their hearts, 
to seek the aid of her, whom they despised or neglected 

Compare these words with those of another person, who took 
his leave of the world in a very dlfferevtt manner. 

<< I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure 
« is at hand. I have fougiit a good fight; I have finished my 
« course ; I have kept the faith ; henceforth there is laid up for 
"«* me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous 
«< Judge, will give me at that day." St. Paul. 

* They know nothing about it, and therefore cannot desire or 
Study it. Ignoti nulla cupico.— rThe people perish through 
lack of knowledge. Hosea, iv. 6. The Indians prefer any bau- 
ble, which rattles and looks fine, to their mines of gold. 


in prosperity, and to take refuge, during the storm, in 
the shelter of the temple. But is it not desirable, in 
every stage of life, to be under the protection of one, 
who is found so faithful a friend in the last stage ? And 
is it not the part of every truly benevolent man, if op- 
portunity offer, and more particularly, if his profes- 
sional DUTY not only justifies, but demands, an active 
interference in promoting the solid happiness of others, 
to endeavour to persuade his fellow-creatures to seek, 
in the most effectual manner, the light and consolation 
of Christianity ? He can in no possible mode contribute 
so much to the melioration of society, and the improve- 
ment of the human race. Look at a neighbouring coun- 
try, and see the misery consequent on renouncing Chris- 
tianity. Mercy and Justice seem to have fled from the 
land, together with the Gospel. God hath avenged his 
cause in a most awful manner. 

To stop the progress of infidelity, to resuscitate the 
dormant spirit of vital religion, the true nature of Chris* 
tiptuity must be plainly pointed out to the mass of the 
people, the great as well as the vulgar; the great, I 
say, to whom, from thoughtlessness, and immersion in 
sensuality, it is often little known*, however it may be 
professed. Christianity, indeed, it may be suspected, 
is too imperfectly understood, even by scholars, philoso- 
phers, and statesmen of the first rank, and the greatest 

* What Is the gospel? " The record that God hath given to 
<» us eternal life, and that life is in his son." 1 John, v, 2. It is 
a question of prime importance. Yet there are able men, and men 
of singular address and dexterity in all political and commercial 
busbiessy who perhaps never asked the question with seriousness ; 
9.nd who seem to be merely novices, or downright Ignoramuses, 
in the school of Christ. 

t Let such persons consider the oeconomy of grace ^ as thus briefly 
displayed by Bishop Warburton, who nevertheless, was a great 


To call the attention of men to Christianity, and to 
render its true genius and nature better knoivn'^^ is the 

opposer of the true doctrines of divine energy ; and who, on that 
account, may have the more weight with many. 

'* The blessed Jesus came into the world, to declare the good- 
** will of our heavenly Father to the forfeited posterity of Adam. 
*< He testified the truth of his mission by amazing miracles ; and 
*' sealed the redemption of mankind, by the more amazing devo- 
*' tion of himself to an ignominious death. 

** But as the redemption, so generally procured, could only ope- 
*' rate on particulars, under certain circumstances of faith and obe- 
" dience, very repugnant to our corrupted nature, the blessed Jes(#s, 
** on his leaving the world, promised his followers his intercej/^ion 
*^ with the Father, to send another divine person — the Holy Ghost, 
** called the Spirit of Truth, and the Comforter — who, agreeably to 
** the import of those names, should co-operate with us in establish- 
*' ing faith, and in perfecting obedience ; or, in other words, should 
«* sanctify us to redemption. 

<^ This is a succinct account of the occonomy of grace ; entirely 
*' consonant to our best conceptions of the nature of God, and the 
** condition of man. For if man was to be reinstated in a free gift, 
" justly forfeited, we cannot but suppose that as, on the one hand, 
« it might be restored on what conditions best pleased the giver ; 
<* so, on the other, God would graciously provide, that it should 
** not be bestowed in vain. 

** An atonement, therefore, was to be made for the offended 
** majesty of the Father, and this was the work of the Son; and 
*' a remedy was to be provided for the miserable condition of man", 
*' which hindered the atonement from producing its effect; and 
** this was the office of the Holy Ghost; so that both were joint 
'' workers in the great business of reconciling God to man. 

*< The office of the Holy Ghost is to enlighten the under- 


Bp. Warburton. 

This is the testimony of an adversary. 

** The Christian that rejects, reproaches, and writes against the 
<« necessity of immediate divine inspiration, (as Warburton did,) 
« pleads the whole cause of infidelity." Law 

* << In many countries called Christiany neither Christianity, nor 
" its evidence, are fairly laid before men ; and in places where both 


fecope of this little book; a book by no means intended 
to promote the interest, or gratify the pride, by any par- 
ticular division or sub-division of Christians, but to serve 
the common cause of all human beings, by maintaining 
the divine origin, describing the real essence and ener- 
gy, and diffusing the powerful efficacy of that sublime 
PHILOSOPHY, which, under the immediate operation of 
an all-wise and benign Deity, promises to tranquillize 
life, and conduct man through paths of peace, to realms 
of eternal felicity. 

What then is the principle of this philosophy, which 
gives it a decided superiority over all that has been 
taught in the groves of Academus, the Portico and the 
Lyceum? It is (as I hope has been evinced in the pre- 
ceding pages) a beam of light from the father of 
lights; a lumen de lumine, light of light; the 
breath of the power of God, restoring degenerate human 
nature to -that image which it lost at the fall, and re-es- 
tablishing it in primeval dignity. The Holy Ghost, it 
appears, is the divine Being, now and forever engaged 
in effecting this happy renovation; in producing a 
change, which no human wisdom could ever accom- 
plish, without supernatural assistance, without that 
gift, which our Lord gave to men after his ascension. 

The elegant refinements of human philosophy may 
furnish a pleasing amusement for those who possess the 
advantages of a classical education, and of literary lei- 
sure. The Christian Philosophy alone is calculated 

«' are, there appear to be some, who have very little attended to 
<* either; and who reject Christianity with a scorn proportionate 
" to their inattention; and yet are by no means without un- 
" derstanding in other matters." Bp. Butler. 

*' I have been so long conversant with the classics," said Dr. 
Conyers Middleton, '« that I grow squeamhb when 1 come to the 
'* scriptures." 


for ALL mankind; this alone can bring peace* at the 
last; peace, during the continuance of life, as well as 
its close ; a transcendent peace, called, in scripture, the 
fieace of Godj which passeth all understanding ; and which 
certainly constitutes that supreme good of man, in 
selecting which, human philosophy could never yet 
finally agree. Happily, it is a kind of philosophy, to 
which every human being, consistently with God's 
equity, may attain; requiring not cultured intellect, 
nor a life of academical seclusion, but faithful, fervent 
prayer, accompanied with sincere, though imperfect 
obedience. " If ye, being evil," says our Saviour, 
^' know how to give good gifts unto your children, how 
" much shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit 
" to them that ask him?" Nothing is to be desired by 
mortal man, in comparison with this gift, the sufiply of 
the Sfiirit sf Jesus Christ^* The end, it appears, to be 
pursued by this philosophy, is the attainment of the 
Spirit's influence; the means, prayer and obedience. 
Such is the sum and substance of Christian philoso- 
phy; a title t which I have chosen, because, from a 

* " I would," said the great Grotius, whose book, * On the 
Truth of the Christian Religion,' is recommended to all young 
students, though, I believe, it never ccnivinced Siny man living; ** I 
<* would," said he, a little before he died, " give all my learning 
<'^and honour, for the plain integrity and innocence of Jean" 
<' Ukick;" a poor illiterate neighbour of his, who spent much of 
his time in prayer, and was an honest plain man, and industrious 
in his calling. John Edwards. 

t Phil. i. 19. 

I This name Christianity bears in the writings of some of the 
antient fathers. Thus Justin Martyr, speaking of Christianity, 

'^ ^6^5 ovTOi UG-tv oi (piXoG-o^fcc T^v HOW w^ocri^ri }^ cng," 

Dialog, cum Tryph. 


strange perverseness, a great part of the world, too often 
guided by names, is willing to listen to philosophy, while 
it closes the iron doors of prejudice against the voice of 

The divine energy announced to mankind in the glad 
operating, now and for evermore, on every human heart 
prepared to admit it, appears, from what has been ad- 
vanced in these pages, tobe the living, everlasting 
Gospel, still accompanying the written word, and con- 
veying illumination, sanctification, consolation. It would 
not cease to operate, being sent down from Heaven on 
our Lord*s ascension, even if it were possible that ink 
and paper, by whose instrumentality the written word 
is transmitted, were utterly lost. It originates fron* 
Omnipotence, and cannot entirely rely, for its continu- 
ance or effect, on means inerely human, weak, contin- 
gent and perishable. He who once views the gospel of 
Jesus Christ in this light; he who considers it as a 

He adds, that he foflnd this philosophy, meaning the Chris- 
tian, the only philosophy that was useful and to be depended upon. 

Dialog, cum Trypb, 
Isidore also terms Christianity the new and evangelical phi- 

" H Viae >^ ivoty[iXim OIAOSO^IA." Epist. lid. 4. 

And in another place he calls it the heavenly philosophy. 
'^ OYPANIOS OIAOSO<I>IA." Epist. lid. 5. 

Several other fathers call it the Christian Philosophy. Fide 
Sozomen, Eccl. Hist. lib. 5. cap. 12. 
And let it be remembered, that, 

" Kon tarn discendo, quam patiendo divina, 
« Mens perficitur humana." 
** Homines ideofallanttirf quod aut religionem suscipiuntf omissd 
*' sapientid, aut sapientice soli student, omissdreltgione, cum altenim 
*' sine altera esse non possit verum.'* 

Lactj\.ntius de falsa Sapient* lib. 3. 


vital influence from Heaven, and recognizes its energy 
on his heart, as he will do, in consequence of prayer 
and obedience, will want no other proof of the truth and 
excellence of Christianity. He will have the witness in 
himself; and stand in no need of the schoolmen's folios, 
the verbal subtleties of the critic, or the acrimonious 
disputes of the polemic. He will find, that some of the 
most learned men, the most voluminous writers on 
theological subjects, were totally ignorant of 
Christianity. He will find, that they were ingeni- 
ous heathen philosophers, assuming the name of Chris- 
tians, and forcibly paganizing Christianity, for the sake 
of pleasing the world, of extending their fame, and en- 
joying secular honours and lucrative pre-eminence*. 

'' Godly persons," that is, Christian philosophers, are 
described, in those articles which all churchmen have 
most solemnly assented to, as " such as feel in them- 
" selves the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of 
*^ the flesh, and drawing up their minds to high and 
" heavenly thhigs.'^ He who feels the Spirit in him, 
will be conscious of possessing the pearl of great price, 
and will lock it up in the sanctuary of his heart, as his 
richest treasure, never to be despoiled of it by the se- 
ducing arts of false philosophy ; never to exchange that 
pure gold, which is the same yesterday, to-day, and 
forever, for the base metal of worldly politicians, who 
may endeavour, as they have done, to make truth it- 

* " There are those,*' says the apostle, << who seek their own, 
" and not the things of Jesus Christ." Phil. ii. 21. 

Such as these are called by Ignatius ;^g<f s^^d^o*, dealers and 
chapmen in Christ. Unprofitable truths they will have no more 
to do with, than traders with unsaleable commodities. 

Bishop Home says, " Those clergymen, who betray the cause 
«' of their Master, in order to be promoted in the church, are guilty 
«* of the worst kind of simony ^ and pay their souls for the purchase 
" of their preferment," 


self alter her inimitable nature, to serve the varying pur- 
poses of temporary ambition. Those doctrines of Chris- 
tianity, which were true under the first Charles, will be 
considered, notwithstanding the subtle attempts of poli- 
ticians, equally true under the abandoned profligacy of 
a second; or in subsequent reigns, when it was dis- 
covered by the court divines, that Christianity was an 
old as the creation^ and the religion of grace, a mere re- 
publication of the religion of nature*. The substance 
uf Christianity can survive the wreck of empires, and 
demoliiion of temples made with hands, and the dismis- 

* This, though the pious Sherlock's doctrine, is nearly the same 
with the infidel Voltaire's, though not quite so honourable to 

'* Notre religion revelee n^est memcy tt ne fiouvoit etre, que cette 
•' loi naturelle perfectionee?" 

Di scours sur le Theisme, par M. de Voltaire. 
Of preaching natural religion for Christianity, let us hear the 
opinion of two other celebrated divines, and pious men. 

<' Scarce any thing," says Dr. Trapp, *' has of late years been 
*' more prejudicial to religion, than the neglect of the theologi- 
" CAL part of it, properly so called: and it is very greatly to be 
<< lamented, that some writers, even of our own church, out of 
" an undue terror, in opposing some undue doctrines of Calvin, 
** have run into the other extreme, and have too little regarded 
*' the necessary doctrines of religion.^ ^ 

They have dwelt upon the agenda^ and totally neglected the 

"■ To \^YC2ic\i practical sermons, as they are called, that is, seV- 
*< mons upon virtues and vices, without inculcating those 
<* great scripture truths of redemption, grace, and the like, 
'' which alone can incite and enable us to forsake sin, and follow 
" after righteousness — what is it but to put together the wheels, 
*< and set the hands of a watch, forgetting the spring which is 
** to make them all go?'* 

Bishop HoRNE and Dr. Trapp, in his Preface 
to " Preservative" 
What Quintilian said, maybe applied to moral preaching, when 
unaccompanied with evangelicah 


sion of a superstitious or a time-serving priesthood. 
The living temple of the heart, where the Holy Spirit 
fixes his shrine, will stand unimpaired, amidst the 
fallen columns of marble. The kingdom of Heaven 
will remain unshaken, amidst all the convulsions of this 
changeable globe. We are told, that the gates of hell 
shall not prevail against it; and, though it should hap- 
pen, in any country of Christendom, that the rulers 
should be infidels, and the visible church abolished ; yet 
while there are human creatures left alive in it, the 
CHURCH of Christ may still flourish. The doctrine 
of grace is the only doctrine which tends to preserve 
Christianity in the world, independent of the caprice, 
and pride of statesmen* and philosophers, or the wick- 
edness of the people. Who shall be impious enough 
^o maintain that God cannot preserve, by his own 
methods, his own dispensation? 

Civil and ecclesiastical power in union, together with 
the assistance of early education, may, indeed, retain, 
in a nation, the forms and the name of Christianity ; but 
" the proper force of religion, that force which subdues 
^^ the mind, which awes the conscience, and influences 
" the private conduct, as well as the public,'* will only 
be preserved by a vital experimental sense f of the divine 

«* Nunc 'cero qu^e tie hit propria philosophise asserunter passim tac- 
<* tamus omnes: quis enitn modo de justo, (squo^ ac bono, nan et vir 
*' pessimus loquitur.''* Quint. Proccmium. 

* " With great worldly wisdom, there is always great pride, 
*' the greatest adversary to true and sanctified Christian know- 
•* ledge. All the skill that men so minded can attain to in heavei^- 
*< ly matters, is but like lessons got by rote. It must be quite 
«* forgotten, or, at least, utterly renounced and- laid aside, before 
«< we can be admitted into the school of Christ.*' 

Dr. Jackson, Vol, 1. B. 2. C. 14. 

•f << Let it be considered that man, besides the benefit of reason 
*< to direct him, is blessed with the advantage of something, if not 


energy of the Holy Ghost, whom we declare, with one 
voice, in our churches, whenever we repeat the Nicene 
creed, to be the " Lord and giver of life." 

I have endeavoured to diffuse this vital, experimental 
sense, fnom a conviction that it is peculiarly desirable 
at a time when infidelity is said to increase, beyond the 
example of any former age. But I know that I oppose 
prejudices deeply rooted, and far extended. These 
doctrines are frowned upon by men in high stations*. 
I know that our Saviour has predicted, what experience 
has abundantly verified, that the preaching and teach- 
ing of the TRUE gospel, will ever create enemies in the 
worldf. The modes of persecution differ in different 
periods ; but, in all times, the defenders of evangelical 
truth are exposed to some mode or some degree of it. I 
know it well; yet, "Woe is me," may I and every preacher 
say, ^^ if I preach not the gospel t ;" the true gospel ; such, 
at least, as, after the most careful search and long con- 
sideration, it appears to my imperfect understanding, 
and such as 1 beUeve it to be in my soul. I only desire 
the adversary, if any such should arise, to allow the pos- 
sibility that he, as well as I and the many great men who 

•' always equivalent, certainly not inferior to the highest refine- 

" meats of instinct in lower animals : and from the same foun- 

*< tain, I mean grace, the grace of God; v/hich, if any one be 

" hardy, and unphilosophigal, 3,nduncbristian enough to deny, 

<* I shall not attempt to confute him ; only desire him to consider 

*' calmly, whether it be miore incongruous to suppose God aiding 

♦* and directing reasonable, but fallible beings, with his grace, 

*' than brutes with instincts.'* Delany. 

* *' These doctrines serve no end of />oj&z//ar learning, they help 

*' no people to figure and preferment in the world, and are useless 

** to scholastic, controversial writers." Law. 

t But I must remember that, " the fear of man bringeth a 

** snare; — but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe." 

Proverbs, xxix. 25. 
I 1 Cor. ix. 16. 

y 2 


support me in my sentiments, may be mistaken ! and 
to ask his own heart, whether he has hitherto studied 
the subject as a truly humble* Christian, a fallen, deprav- 
ed, ignorant, and weak creature; merely as a scholar, 
critic, philosopher, logician, metaphysician, controver- 
sialist, or politician, contending for the glory of victori- 
ous disputation, or the rewards of a profession establish- 
ed and encouraged by the state. 

If any clergymanf of the church of England should 
be disposed utterly to deny the doctrine of immediate 

* Antoninus taught, that the very first requisite to form a 
philosopher, was xsiroQc^Miy otvi<riVy to throw away all conceit 
of knowledge. 

t The Rev. Thomas Edwards, Fellow of Clare Hall, Cam- 
bridge, after writing a learned and elaborate book against the 
doctrine of grace, is compelled, by the force of truth, at the con- 
clusion of it, to make the following concessions : 

" There are undoubtedly several passages which sufficiently 
<« shew, that the operations of the Holy Spirit are not to be entire- 
*< ly limited and confined to the extraordinary and miraculous gifts 
** and endowments peculiar to the apostolic age ; but, on the con- 
** trary, that it will, in all succeeding ages, be communicated, in 
** a peculiar manner, to all those who may stand in need of it, in 
•' order to the discharge of their duty. 

*' I can therefore by no means give into their opinion, who, 
<* with the witty French Jesuit, look upon these supernatural 
<' workings of the Spirit upon the minds of man, as entirely 
** visionary or chimerical: or, as he expressed himself, a mere 
** NESCio QUID, (je ne scaiquoij. A tempore Aiigustini, vix ulla 
'< vox frequeniior fruit voce^ gratia, ubi sermo est de homhiis ad 
** saniorem mentem reditu et «u/, cui is redttus debetur. Ed tamen 
** voce quid signifcetur^ cum ab iis quceriturj qui ed utufitur, nihil 
*^^ responsi perspicui ferre licet. Hinc factum ut in Gallia y Jesuita 
*' fcstivi ingeniif non inficete dixit, * Gratiam illam divijiam, qtiiS 
*' tantum strepitum, excitavit in scholis, et tarn mirabiles effectus in 
•' homi?ium animis edit, gratiam illam adeo ejficacem, et suavem 
'* simuly qua de duritie cordis, illcesa arbitrii libertate, triumpbGt, 
^* nihil esse tandem, pi<£ter nesckt quid.* 

Cleridi Ars Crit. p. 2. s. 1. c. 8. 


^ grace, divine energy, and supernatural impulse, I would 
beg leave humbly and affectionately to remind him of 
the question proposed to him when he was ordained a 
minister of Christ, and the answer he then made, with 
every circumstance of religious solemnity, receiving the 
sacrament upon it, and thus evidently resting all his 
hopes of God's blessing on his sincerity.* 

The question is, " Do you trust that you are inwardly 
" moved by the Holy Ghost, to take upon you this office 
" and ministry, to serve God, for the promoting of hia 
" glory, and the edifying of his people?" " I trust so," 
replies the person to be ordained. 

As the topic is rather invidious, and certainly con- 
cerns myself as well as any of them whom I have the 
honour to call my brethren in the profession, I will 
refer it to Bishop Burnet, to make remarks on the re- 
sponse to the interrogatory. " Certainly," says the 
truly able prelate, " the answer that is made to this,, 
'' ought to be well considered; for if any one says, 'I 
" trust so,* that yet knows nothing of any such motion, 
" and can give no account of it, he lies to the Holy 
" Ghost, and makes his first approach to the altar with 
" a lie in his mouth ; and that not to man, but to God* 
" Shall not God reckon with those who run without his 
" mission, pretending that they trust they have it, 
" when perhaps they understand not the importance of 

** The general manner in which the Spirit operates upon men, 
'< we may, I humbly conceive, suppose to be, by raising such par- 
•* ticular ideas, or making such particular impressions upon their 
'* minds f as may injiuence them,^^ &c. 

* " All sacerdotal power is derived from the Holy Ghost; and 
*< they who do not acknowledge themselves under the Holy 
*' Ghpst^s influence, acknowledge that they have no sacerdotal 
** power. Our Saviour himself took not the ministry upon him, 
** till he had this consecration." 

We think too lo^ly of the priest's ofEce in our age. V«ry great 
it is, under the energy of the Holy Gho&t. 


" it? nay, and perhaps some laugh at it, as an enihusU 
" astical question, who yet will go through the office. 
" They come to Christ for the loaves; they hope to live 
" by the altar and the gospel, how little soever they 
" serye at one, or preach the other: therefore they will 
" say any thing that is necessary for qualifying them to 
" (receive the loaves and fishes)^ whether true or false." 
The Bishop^s animadversion is severe ; and every man's 
own conscience must whisper to him, in his own case^ 
w^hether it be just and true. 

One thing, however, is certain, and sufficient for my 
purpose. It is plain that persons who enter on the 
ministry, thus declare themselves to believe that they 
are under a supernatural motion ov impulse, cannot ca^z- 
sistently deny, or explain away, the main principle of 
my book, which is the reality of such a supernatural 
motion or impulse. They confess that, in their own 
persons, they believe they have experienced that divine 
energy of the Holy Ghost, which, I maintain, moves 
the mind to believe in Christ, and inclines the heart to 
all moral virtue* 

If the sublime and comfortable doctrine of immediate 
grace were generally preached, the churches would be 
better frequented, and infidelity rare.* The common 
people, unspoiled by vain philosophy, hunger and thirst 

* "We must carry this yet further than the bare believing that 
** these things (the doctrines cf Christianity) are true ; such a 
*' faith devils have. We must make our people understand, that 
*''this i-xith. purijles the heart and Hiiorks by Ic^e ; and it only be- 
*' comes a saving and justifying faith, when upon our entering 
** upon the practice of those rules that this religion prescribes, v^^e 
** FEEL A REAL VIRTUE derived into us, that makes us new 
" CREATURES, and gives us such a vital perception of the 
" truth of the promises made us in it, that we receive these, as 
«' earnests of our inheritance, and so taste and see that God is 
'* gracious tons. This makes lis living stones in the spiri* 
•' -iruAL BUILDING." Bishop BuRNET*s Charge. 


for the spiritual food which comes clown from Heaven. 
Ought not their shepherds to feed them with such as 
is convenient for them^ and to lead them from broken 
cisterns and barren lands, to the green pasture, and 
streams of living water? Who shall judge what is most 
convenient for them ? a few, individuals, or the million, 
directed, in their choice, by the concurrent guidance of 
the church, the liturgy? and the scriptures? It has been 
justly suggested, by a wit of antiquity, that the gxiests, 
and not the cooks, are to judge of the taste and salubrity 
of the viands prepared for the table. Now the guests 
invited to the spiritual feast, appear, by their numerous 
attendance, to prefer the food which comes from above, 
the truly evangelical doctrine of grace. However un- 
skilfully dispensed, the places of worship, Avhere it is, 
or appears to be, dispensed at all, are thronged with mul- 
titudes, while other places are almost deserted. How 
are the churches crov/ded by young and /^oor persons, 
at confirmations ; the whole of which office is founded, 
most evidently, on the doctrine of grace, and the Holy 
Spirit's actual interposition. 

The following is the bishops prayer, in the office of 
confirmation: " Almighty and everlasting God, who 
" hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants, by 
" by water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given unto 
'' them forgiveness of all their sins; strengthen them, 
" we beseech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost the 
" Comforter, and daily increase in them thy manifold 
" GIFTS OF GRACE, the ^^ivit oi wisdom ^Vidi Understand^ 
" ing; the spirit of counsel and ghostly strength ; the 
" spirit of KNOWLEDGE and true godliness; and fill them, 
" O Lord, with the spirit of thy holy fear, now and for 
" ever.'* The bishop then laying his hands upon every 
one severally, says, " Defend, O Lord, this thy child, 
^' with thy heavenly grace, that he may continue thine 
<' for ever; and daily increase in thy Holy Spirit m^'e 


" and more, until he come unto thy everlasting king- 
" dom." He proceeds thus: " Almighty and everlasting 
^^ God, who makest us both to ^Mll and do those things 
" that be good and acceptable unto thy divine Majesty, 
*' let thy Holy Spirit ever be v/ith them ; and so lead 
" them in the knowledge and obedience of thy holy 
" word, that in the end they may obtain everlasting life. 
" Vouchsafe to direct, sanctify, and govern boch our 
*^ hearts and bodies," Sec. 

Can any bishop who reads these words, or any parish 
priest who sends the young ones of his flock to hear 
them, consistently deny the doctrine of divine energy, 
or immediate grace?* 

Exclusively of this sublime doctrine, the Gospel, 
considered merely as a book of morality, has not so 
great an advantage over the Koran, as every Christian 
must wish and believe it to possess. Mahomet requires, 
in the Koran, '^ the belief of one God, trust in him, 
" frequent prayer and fasting, almsgiving even to stran- 
" gers, keeping of covenants, justice in dealings, pa- 
" tience in adversity; to honour father and mother, 
" and to maintain them if they are old and poor. He 
" forbids usury ^ bearing false witness, profane swearings 
^* and the murdering of infants, which had formerly been 
^' common in Arabia." The Mahometan also allows 
Jesus to be a prophet sent from God, and commission^ 
ed to be a great instructor, reformer, and Saviour. I 
say, divest Christianity of the gift which our Lord 
gave to men, after his ascension, and the infidel will 
place Christ far below Socrates, Plato, Epictetus, Sena- 
ca, and rank him with Mahomet, or even in a lower 
class J since there are many who deem the Koran a very 

* Bishop Beveridge says, " A man may as soon read the letter 
«< of the scripture without eyes, as understand the mysteries of 
<* the gospel without grace." 


fine composition, far superior to the narratives of Mat- 
thew, Mark, I,uke, and John, and to the epistle of Paul, 
the chief of the apostles. 

Divest Christianity of the Spirit's energy, and you 
rob it of its appropriate, distinguishing, and exckisive 
excellence and glory. You place it among the modes of 
sufierstition which, at various times, have been encou- 
raged by states, in order to facilitate the movements of 
the the political engine, in almost every country on the 
face of the globe. You make it the invention of man ; 
and, as the invention of man, it will often be despised, 
in comparison with the philosophy which prevailed in 
the elegant schools of Athens and Rome, and which 
clothed its fine morality in all the seducing embellish- 
mients of a polished diction. The writings of Plato and 
Cicero will be preferred to those of the evangeUsts and 
and apostles, if the pearl which enriches the plain 
compositions of the latter, above all that human inge- 
nuity can contrive, be torn from its place. That pearl 
is figuratively emblematic of the Holy Spirit's influence, 
the UNCTION from above. 

The ray of divinity, the anointing of the Spirit, shed 
a heavenly effulgence on the page of the written gospel, 
which all human lights but faintly emulate. These are 
merely moons or satellites. Christianity is the sun of 
the system. I am the light of the world, says 
Christ himself. Let us remember, that it is the inspi- 
ration that makes the oracle; not the priest or the 
shrine. Take away the spring from the time-keeper, 
and though the v\rheels are curiously contrived, and the 
gold in which it is cased, and the jewels with which it is 
adorned, may still be valuable, yet it will not longer be 
esteemed but as a costly toy, or looked at, by those 
who want information, with confidence. Thus the gos- 
pel will have no vital, converting effect, when consider- 
ed only as an historical narrative, with moral precepts 

264 CHRISTIAN PHiLosornr. 

occasionally interspersed, but unaccompanied with the 


* The successful propagation of the gospel could not be effected 
by the causes assigned by Mr. Gibbon, but must have been effected 
by the Holy Ghost. Is it not reasonable to believe that it may 
noTo be propagated and continued by the same means as ^x first — 
the powerful agency of Heaven ? Let us hear a sensible writer on 
the subject. 

<< The sole adef^uate cause of the successful propagation of the 
'* gospel is, according to the scriptures, the Holy Ghost. It 
*» will be well if his agency, in these polite and rational days, be 
*< thought to deser\^e a moment^s attention. Yet it is evident, 
" that there must be some cause for this wonderful phenomenon. 
^* I shall not disgust the rational world, by supposing the agency 
** of any supernatural being in the affair, but that of the great 
** Author of Nature. Any Spirit inimical to him could not, pro- 
'* duce a character of such goodness, but under his authority, 
«* and by a power derived from himself. Even miracles cannot 
** change the heart , whatever effect they may have on the judg- 
*\ ment; and the ruling providence of God, implying only an ex- 
" ternal government y does not influence the will; as facts abun- 
" dantly testify. All that is rational and human is totally unequal 
*' to the task; nay, perhaps the most sensible of mankind, should 
" they deign to honour these sheets with their inspection, can 
«* scarce bear the idea of a real Christiafi with patience. There 
<< is an ENERGY more than human which produces this character; 
** and it remains that this must be the infi^uence of the Holy 
*' Ghost. 

** The reader who will allow himself seriously to weigh this 
«' subject, may see that nothing short of this could constitute one 
<' real Christian, in this or any other age of the church. Let 
" him consider, whether it is even possible for mere man to in'oent 
*< such doctrines; much less to propagate them with any success, 
" in a world like this. A number of men, possessed of a sixth 
*< sense, of which we had not the least idea, would find but few 
<' brought over to their opinion that they were possessed of such 
** a sensation. Their pretensions would be construed into pride 
<* or folly; but those whom the Most High should endow with 
♦< the same sensation^ would easily believe. The application is 
" obvious. 

Ftjr political and interested purposes, it may be talked 
X)f in churches and universities ; it may be scholastical^ 
defended, and generally professed, and yet totally mis- 
understood and misrepresented. It will have no influ- 
ence* on the hearts of men : no, not on the hearts of the 

« Thus we have z simple and obvious proof oi the truth of Chris- 
*< tianity (the propagation of it by the influence of the Holy Ghost). 
«* I fear, indeed, it will weigh but little with those who love not the 
« real Gospel. The generality will say, * At this rate the majo- 
«^ rity of those who call themselves Christians, do not even" 
<< KNOW THEIR OWN RELIGION.' It is devoutly to be wished 
«< that this were not the case; that even many tha.t havj; 


**■ THEMSELVES KNOWN ITS NATURE. Much of the advantage 
«< which deism has gained had then been prevented; we should 
** have had more of the experimental proof : and that scrip- 
** ture had been better known, * He that believeth in the Son of 
" God, hath the witness in himself.' (1 John, v. 10.) Sceptical 
*< doubts will vanish before stubborn facts. Were the gospel 
"<' itself understood, little time need be spent on its evidences, 
«♦ One sight of the sun is sufficient to point out its glorious Au- 
« thor. In all things else, experience is allowed to be the best 
-** schoolmaster; in religion only it is called enthusiasm." Milmf, 

* " Judas Iscariot knew Jesus Christ — ail that he did — just m 
<* the same manner (though much better) as a mere historicai. 
<' believer of the Gospel; a mere learned theologist. All know- 
** ledge of Christ, but that which is by divine inspiration, or the 
<« new birth, is but as poor and profitless as the knowledge of 
** Judas Iscariot.'* • Law. 

'* The empty, letter-learned knowledge, which th€ natural maa 
'«* can as easily have of the sacred scriptures and religious matters, 
^« as of any other books or human affairs, being taken for divine 
** kncyxkdgey has spread such darkness and delusion all over Chri^- 
<< tendom, as may be reckoned no less than a general apostasy from 
•* the gospel state of divine illumination." Ibid. 

«* The best ability of the natural man can go no farther than 
** talk, and notions, and opinions about scripture words and facts j 
*< on these, he may be a great critic, an acute logician, a powerful 
<< orator, and knovi every thing of the scripture^ EXCEPT the spi- 


t6Q cHxisriAK fniLosofnr. 

Tcry persons who thus talk of it, profess it, defend it; 
nor of those who read or listen to the most elaborate 
apologies, defences, and demonstrations*. Christ must 
be formed in the soul, before the soul can recognize the 
truth and efficacy of Christianity. 

Nearly two thousand years have elapsed since the 
iirritten Gospel was promulged ; and it has appeared to 
stand in need of defences and apologies to this \ery 
hour. Nor have defences or apologies been deficient 
in number or in sagacity and erudition* Fabricius 
reckons up several hundred books in defence of the 
Christian religion. Diligent as he was, he has omitted 
many; and since his time, there has been a very con- 
siderable addition to the number. Yet the cause is said 
still to labour; and appearances justify the assertion* 
Accordingly, we have lately seen ingenious theologists, 
and excelleni; writers, called forth, by the exigencies of 

* *< He who goes about to speak of the mystery of the Trinity, 
<* and does it by words and names of man*s invention, talking of 
«< essences and existeaces, hypostases and personalities, priority 
/< in co-equalities and unity in pluralities, may amuse himself, and 
<« build a tabernacle in his head, and talk something, he knows 
<* not what; but the good man, that feels the power or the 
•« Father, and to whom the Son is become wisdom, sanctifica- 
« tion, and redemption, in whose heart the love of the Spirit 
<» OF God is shed abroad, this man, though he understands 
•« nothing of what is unintelligible, yet he alone truly understands 
^* the Christian doctrine of the Trinity" 

Bp. Taylor, on John, vii. IT. 
MiseraWe and disgraceful have been the rancorous disputes on 
the Trinity; a subject, one would think, which, if worldly senti- 
ments did not interpose, might be discussed with perfect compo- 
sure of temper. The enemy has triumphed, while Christians have 
been tearing each other in pieces on an Opinion. 

" But rise ; let us no more contend, nor blame 
f« Each other, blam'd enough elsewhere ; but strive, 
<* In offices of loye, how we may lighten 
<^ £ach other's burden, in owe share of woe/' Mit«TOK< 


the times, in our own country, almost two thousand 
years after the origin of Christianity, and after all the 
preceding labours of divines, to display its evidences^ as 
if it were the production of yesterday. Such a display 
is said to be more necessary than ever; and Europe has 
produced many excellent works of the kind. Such 
books furnish exercise for the schools. May they be 
efficacious, as they are learned and ingenious! May 
they carry conviction to the heart, produce a lively 
faith, and refute the gainsayers ! If they should fail, their 
failure must not be attributed to any defect of abilities 
in their authors, but to the omission of the internal evi- 
dence of the Holy Spirit. They are, almost without 
exception, above the reach, and disgusting to the taste, 
of the multitude; and let it be duly remembered, that 
to mere human reason and human learning, the infidel 
is ever ready to oppose weapons from the same armoury. 
His heart must be pierced with the two-edged sword of 
the Spirit, before he will surrender to Faith the citadel 
of his own reason*. 

* The celebrated pamphlet, entided, Christianity not founded on 
Argument, was certainly nothing more than a piece of irony. 
Kevercheiess, many a truth is told in jest ; and ridentem dicerc 
verum quid vet at ? 

I allow that Christianity is not founded on Argument; and I make 
the concession willingly, because I know that it has a better foun- 
dation. Christianity is not built on sand; but, like the house of 
the w-ise, on the rock — even the rock of ages. I will quote the 
words of the ironical adversary, and let them avail as much a& 
they can. 

<* No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 
** Here is pointed out to us that great dictator and infallible guide 
" we have been seeking for, and, indeed, the only character we 
<* can possibly think of, any way equal to such a province. It 
«* could be nothing less than omniscience and omnipresence itself; 
«' nothing but this inexhaustible fountain of all truth, that could 
<« be.jufficieat to such a demjindj and he it is, th^ frotniied ora- 

But however the works now alluded to rriay succeecJ' 
ift carrying conviction to the hearts of men, it is certain 

•• cle, who is to sfttend the charge of believefs to the end of the 
<* wcrld; to keep alive his dimne light constantly in their hearts ; 
'• not to teach them rudiments of logic, but to irradiate their souls 
•* at once wi'^h a thorough conviction; and perform more by one 
•' secret whisper^ than a thousand clamorous harangues from the 
<' schools. From the satisfaction consequent to the mind from 
"'his performance of this great office, it is, that he is so eminently 
•^ styled the 'Comforter; as his operations are in another place very 
*' s ronglv and signifiCanQy termed the porvier of God unto Salva' 
<* tion. He that belicvetb in the Son of Gody bath the 'witness iyi him^ 
** self In this sense it is, that we are properly styled the temples^ 
•* cf the Holy Ghost; the consecrated scenes of this constant resi- 
*' dence, there ever personally present, and dispensing his certain 
«• intelligences to the soul, which the apostle calls the laitnessing of 
•* the Spirit ninth ovr Spirit.^* 

"It were endless to recount all the innumerable passages through- 
<■* out the whole scripture, that concur in ascertaining the same 
*^ supernatural and all-sufficient source and origin of our faith, in 
" oppos-vion to all the feeble aids and uncertain advices that rea- 
** s^n might possibly contribute to the purpose. For we may 
♦• cbs rve, that in mentioning the principle of faith, we are always 
** iiiiorm- d, both what it is, and what it is not. Bj; grace ye are 
" saiedy through faith ^ and that not of yourselves ; it is the gift cf 
<* God. No man can come to me, (says Christ,) except it be gixen 
** him of my Father. 

** The motive which induces me to receive the mysterious truths 
«< of the Gospel, is the peculiar grant and munificence of Heaven, 
** over and above the common privileges of our nature. It seems, 
•' by the particular negatives every where so industriously dis- 
•^ persed through all the expressions which treat of this subject, 
«< that it was apprehended that there might possibly happen, 
<< amongst the unwary, some mistake on the occasion; and that 
-* therefore, as it was an article of so great concern to have a just 
«* notion of, the greatest imaginable care was taken, by the most 
•* precise and emphatical terms that could be devised, to guard 
« against any such fatal consequence. 

<« But the strongest confirmation of all these positive and re* 
«« jeated feV^Jttion^ oti the poiat) tljie plainest declars^tioiv Wii 


that different persons, in different ranks of life, with 
various degrees of natural sensibility and intellectual 
improvement will be struck, respectively, with different 
arguments, and actuated by diverse modes of persua* 
sion. A learned defence or proof of Christianity, which 
is extolled by some, shall appear to others dull, lifeless, 
and totally foreign to the purpose. What is slighted 
by the few, may convince the many. On reading the 
book of the world, as a comment on the books of th^ 
library, and turning over the pages of experience, as a 
criterion of written wisdom, I think I have observed that 
critical and historical evidence^ in Christian theology, how- 
ever it may edify the scholar, has little or no good effect 
on the multitude. By them it is seldom attended to at 
all ; very imperfectly understood when attended to ; and> 
when both attended to and understood, more frequently 
raises doubts and suspicions, than produces ^rm bdiefy 
and that holy frame of mind which regulates the con- 
duct of life, and supplies a heartfelt satisfaction. The 
poor, who are the major part of human beings, in all 
ages and countries, and to whom our Saviour particu- 
larly addressed his preaching, seldom know that books 

" direction what hind of evidence Christians were always to trust 
«* to and rely on, for the information and assurance of their minds, 
*« we may find summed up, in brief, in their Master's last instruc- 
«* tions at parting. The Spirit of Truth which proceedeth from 
** the Father J be shall testify of me. As we have both the same 
** person and commission elsewhere again specified. The Spirit, 
** Hvbom I shall sendy shall lead you into all truth. 

«* But, not to stand forever transcribing particulars, I refer 
•* you once more to the great Original, which will, I think, 
•* readily save us, both all farther trouble in quotations and com- 
•* ments, and abundantly evince, in opposition to all the evasive 
«* constructions which may be imposed on particular passages, that 
♦* He (the Spirit) was in general, to inspire conviction as 
*• well as holiness; and to illuminate »8 well as sanctisy 
•* our hearts.' ' 

* 2 

47(> ekRTsriAk pntiosopim 

6f critical theology exist, and would certainty never be- 
come Christians, or have a just idea of what is meant 
by Christianity, if they were not addressed in a manner 
fliore authoritative^ and more divinely influential.* 

• ** It is worth our observing, that when the apostle calls upon 
<* his brethren not to be carried about with strange doctrines, he 
** offers this as a preservative : It is a good thing that the heart 
** be ESTABLISHED H^ith grace. Heb. xiii. 9. This will guard 
♦< lis from errors, and this will directly lead us to truth ; for by 
*• the effectual influence of God's grace and good Spirit on our 
** minds, we shall find in ourselves 2i peculiar eviction, which will 
** prevail more than all demonstrations ; will be more apodictical 
<< than all arguments and reasonings. I may call this a divine 
" kind of logic, which thoroughly confutes and convinces us, 
*' which answers all our scruples and cavils, and wholly capti- 
" vates our understaUdings ; insomuch, that we are fully persuad- 
•* ed of the truth and reality of what is delivered to us. 

** This, which I am now speaking of, is the very depth of 
-*' Christian theology. You are brought, by what I here 
** propound unto you, into the most inward recesses of 
** DIVINITY. If you come to the true understanding of this, you 
•* are amved at the greatest proficiency zn the Christian religion. It 
** cannot be so well described as it can be experienced. The at- 
«* tairiment of this excellency, and the discovery, go together. 
" There is^ no better way to apprehend it than to possess it. Re- 
•< ligion is better felt and relished by practice, than it can be 
«^ comprehended in the way of speculation *, as the sweetness of 
** honey is better known by the taste, than by the description of it. 

<« The real and experienced Christian differs from the specU- 
*^ lative one, as the merchant does from the chemist. The f:^rmer 
• «< hath no skill in furnaces, cannot talk of the nature of gold, or 
** the ordering of it, according to art, yet he is rich, and hath 
•• gold enough. The latter hath rare notions of gold, and candis- 
•* course with great skill and quaintness about the managing t5f 
«« it ; but yet the man is poor, and iva7its what he talh of In like 
' •' manner a true practical Christian may be rich in grace, thougli 
** Ke cannot learnedly discourse of it j and a speculative Christian 
" may be truly poor, though he can talk of the spiritual riches.— - 
« AriistOtk VvVCite of the world, but his scholar conquered it." 

Dr. JoHid EDtvARps. 


Different methods of recommending Christianity, 
when they all tend to the same beneficial end, ought to 
be adopted and encouraged, because they are likelier to 
be generally successful. One and the same method 
might convince only one description of persons among 
the infinite variety of which the mass of mankind ia 
composed. So long as Christian faith, Christian prac- 
tice, and human happiness are more and more pro- 
moted, vi^hosoever are the men, and whatever the books 
that promote them, let the benevolent man rejoice* 
Abstruce scholars, mathematicians, metaphysician^ 
and logicians, have often little relish for Christianity, 
till it is formed into a system, methodical, subtle, and 
erudite. Their religion must too often be such, and 
such only, as furnishes matter for ingenious disquisi* 
tion. They are apt, in the pride of scientific improve* 
ment, to despise the simplicity of the Gospel. A rehgion^ 
however, merely intellectual, if there be any which 
may be so denominated, is essentially different from, 
and inferior to, what I have in this book inculcated, under 
the name of cordial religion. The one qualifies for de- 
grees in an university school; the other is calculated 
to influence the conduct of all men, in the walks of 
common life; in the court, in the city, in the camp^ 
and in the market place. High, low, rich, and 
poor, learned and unlearned, meet together in the 
school of Christ, and are there equally favoured with 
grace, and instmcted in the knowledge which leadeth 
to salvation. Ill would it fare with mankind, if they 
must be linguists and historians, before they can be 
duly informed of the nature of that religion, which was 
intended for the happiness of all; and on the neglect 
and ignorance of whichj they are obnoxious to divine 

Systematical or intellectual religion may employ the 
pea Oa a ready writer, or the tongue of a voli^able dispv^ 

272 CHltJS*riAN PAlLOSOPHr. 

tantin the academical or ecclesiastical chair; but cordial 
re4igion, effectually, though silently; certainly, though 
unostentatiously; sweetens, softens, and spiritualizes, 
the human disposition. It may not gratify the pride or 
serve the worldly interest of individuals, but it elevates 
and refines the general nature of man. 

How is this religion to be learned?* Not from sys- 
tems, not from critics or metaphysicians, not from 
heathen historians and moralists, but by the teaching 
of God, or the divine energy of gospel grace. Such is 
the principal of what I have ventured to term Christian 
Philosophy,! in contradistinction to the philosophy of 

• Not by the letter, but by the Spirit, was Mary Magdalejt 
learned. And how are your family, your mother and sister, your 
servants, your poor neighbour made Christians — by Dr. Clarke ? 
by academical professors ? or by the gospel accompanied with im- 
mediate grace ? 

♦* But whom say ye that I am ? Simon Peter answered and 
♦* said, Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus 
f* answered and said unto him. Blessed art thou, Simon Bar 
<< Jona; my Father which is in Heaven hath reveal- 

** ED IT UNTO THEE." MaTT. Xvi. 15, &C. 

Our Saviour does not say that Peter had done well to form that 
conclusion, from reasoning on what he saw and heard ; or deriv- 
ing the conviction from any human means ; but he says " Flesh 
** AND BiiOOD hath not revealed it unto thee, but my father 
♦< which is in Heaven." 

t That experience is the best ^^ide to Christian Jcnowledge is 
Dr. South's opinion: 

<* The truths of Christ crucified are the Christian's Philo- 
** SOPHY; and a good life is the Christian's logic, that great 
<• instrumental, introductive art, that must guide the mind into 
« the former ; and where a long course of piety, and close com* 
•* munion 'voivb God, has purged the heart, and rectified the will^ 
<* ^nd made all things ready for the reception of God*s Spirit, 
*« knoviledge will break in upon such a soul, like the sun shining 
♦« in his full might, with such a victorious ray, th*t nothing shall 
*< be abk to re&ist iX^ 

CnRlsriAN PHILOSOPHr. %7^. 

heathenism, and modern infidelity. It is clear amidst 
some obscurity^ from the whole tenor of the gospel 
and epistles, that since our Lord's ascension, the bene- 
ficial purposes of Christianity are accomplished by the 
continual agency and never-failing superintendance o£ 
the Holy Spirit. I would by no means proceed so far 
as a writer some hundred years ago, who, observing 
the great and constant power attributed, by the written 
gospel, to the Holy Ghost, published a book, which he 
entitled, Evangelium Spiritus Sancti, or, the Gos» 
pel of the Holy Ghost; but at the same time, it appears 
to me evident, from the declarations of Jesus Christ, 
that the gospel is chiefiy efficacious^ as it has been ever 
since the ascension, by the operation of the Holy Ghost; 
the wakeful, tutelary guardian of every human creature. 

*' It is experience that must give knowledge in the Christian 
*< profession, as well as all others* and the knowledge drawn 
^ from experience is quite of another kmd from that which flow a 
" from speculation and discourse. It is not the opinion y but tha 
** path of the just, that, the wisest of men tells us, shines more 
** 2in6. more^ unto a perfect day. The obedient, and the men of 
** practice, d,Ye those sonn of light, that still outgrow all their 
'* doubts and ignorances ; that still ride upon these cloiidsf and 
** triumph over their present imperfection; till persuasion pass 
** into knowledge, and knowledge advance into assurance; and 
** all come, at length, to be completed in the beatific vision, and 
<* a full fruition of those joys, which God has in reserve for them 
" whom, by his grace, he shall prepare for glory." Dr. South, 

Dr. South', a man of Avit and most vigorous in^ ellect, was par- 
ticularly active in decrying the doctrine of immediate grace, be- 
cause the Court discount enanced those who maintained it: and 
therefore wliat he has here said must be allowed to be extorted 
from him, by the force of truth opposing royal influence znd poli- 
tical religion, which varies as the wind blows. 

* '* The obscurity and difficulty of the scriptures serves," sayg 
Bishop Wilson, "to subdue the pride of man; to convince us, 
** that to understand them, we have need of a light superier t^ 
« reason, and that we must apply to God foy help-'' 


He may be resisted; his holy fire may be quenched; his 
temfile may be polluted; and he may, in consequence, 
depart in displeasure. Happy would it be, if appear- 
ances did not justify the apprehension, that he is actu- 
ally resisted, his holy fire quenched, his temple polluted, 
and both his displeasure and departure little regarded. 
It is the scope of Christian Fhilosophy to prevent this 
dreadful calamity. 

To enquire how* the Spirit operates, is fruitless, if 
not presumptuous. It is enough for man to know, that 
it does operate ; that, unless the words of scripture are 
violently tortured out of their meaning, out of that plain 
sense which every reader of competent judgment and 
of integrity, unwarped by prejudice, must allow them 
to bear, the Spirit of God is at this moment effecting, 
in the bosoms of all v/ho are duly prepared for its en- 
ergy, the grand purpose of our Saviour's incarnation, 
Great indeed is the mystery: but equally mysterious 
are the processes of nature.f All around us is mystery. 
Our very existence, our nutrition, the motion of a mus- 
cle in our bodies, is a wonderful arcanum, too difficult 
to be accounted for by reason. Yet, I believe, I know, 
XhdX I live ^ and jnove^aiid have imj beings though I cannot 
explain the union of soul and body, the mode of alimen- 
tary supply, or the cause of muscular motion. So also 
the spiritual life and motion are inexplicable. But this 
is certain: he who believes the scriptures, must believe 
its reality. And he who is once truly and cxfieritnen- 
tally\ convinced of the Spirit's operation, will want no 

* *' Vocida ilia quomodof** Luther used to say, *^ est detestabilis^'"^ 
That little word H<yvo is detestable. 

f *♦ Is the dociriae of grace more stupendous than the velocity 
'^ of motion given to light:" Bp. Warburion. 

\ " H m? IlEIPAS ciK^i'^uci KX7i(T^vit rnv raf Myoiv ?ytd- 
^ Givtrnroc^* DiOD. Sic. Hist. lib. 1. 

Prayer n the tncan^ of producing this experience ia rcligioiu ■ 


Other evidence; and he who tastes the fruits of the 
Spirit, >vill desire no other display of the excellence 
of Christianity, Thus will the purpose of my book be 
accomplished* The evidence and excellence of 
Christianity will be felt* and acknowledged by every 
man, w^ho becomes a convert to the doctrine of grace. 
He will acquire a spiritual understanding ;t his 
rational faculty, as to spiritual matters, will be sublimed 

♦* If mankind are corrupted and depraved in their moral cha- 
•* racter, and so are unfit for that state which Christ is gone to 
♦* prepare for his disciples ; and if the assistance of God's Spirit 
** be necessary to rene^ their nature t in the degree requisite to 
<«' their being qualified for that state, all which is implied in the 
•* express, though figurative declaration, * Except a man be Bom 
'* of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God :* sup- 
^* posing this, is it possible any serious person can think it a slight 
** matter, whether or no he makes use of the meansj expressly 
*» commanded by God, for obtaining this Divir.e Assistance; espe- 
<* cially since the whole analogy of nature shews that we are not 
** to expect any benefits, without making use of the appointed 
*< means of obtained or enjoying them ? Now Reason shews us 
*' nothing of the particular immediate means of obtaining spiritual 
•* benefits. This, therefore, we must learn from Revelation J *~^ 
And Revelation says, Ask and it shall be given, 

Butler's Anal. Part 2. c. 1. 

* " We not only believe it, but we feel it too ; we feel the 
<* comfortable influences, the sacred emanations of the Holy Spirit 
** upon us ; more particularly at those offices of Devotion^ wherein 
<* HE descends upon us sdso, as he did once upon our blesijed 
" Saviour, like a dove, and sheds his grace upon us, in seme 
** measure, with those excellencies which become the sons of God. 

** Or rather, he descends upon us, as he did once before, upon 
*< the face of the waters, when he brought beauty and order upoa 
^* that which before was nothing but deformity and confusion." 

Bp. HlCKMAlf. 

t Col. i. 9. " We pray for you that ye may be filled with the 
<< knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual understand- 
tt ing:' — Again, «* Consider what J say, and the Xc^ra ^i«re thee 
" Understanding in all things." 2 Tim. ii. T- 


and refined in in such a manner, as to supersede the 
the necessity of those vokiminous, far-fetched, and ela- 
borate proofs and defences of Christianity which have 
been enumerated, in a long catalogue, by Fabricius ; and 
which, one after another, like abortive productions, 
have dropped into the gulph of oblivion, and left Chris- 
tianity just where they found it. Indeed, as defences 
-of this kind, have encreased, Christians appear to have 
decreased. The cavils introduced for refutation have 
lived, and the refutations died and been forgotten. 

But doctrines which cannot be refuted by scripture, 
are sometimes exploded by the illiberal means of stig- 
matizing them with an offensive or unpopular name. 
This practice has always been highly detrimental to the 
diffusion of genuine Christianity. It causes opinions 
to be condemned in the gross. It induces the mind of 
the careless, contemptuously to reject the mass, with- 
out selecting the wheat from the chaff, and, indeed, 
without the trouble of examination. There is a vicissi- 
tude or fashion in religious doctrines, as well as in the 
modes of dress and external behaviour. Such a book, 
says the leader of the day, is Arminian, or calvinistical, 
or METHODisTiCAL,* and it must be cried down by every 

* Bishop Hurd is as far removed from a methodist as possible. 
He is a divine, a philosopher, a scholar of the first rank ; yet hear 
hiin (and let his words have weight) on the evidence of the Spirit 
of God on the heart of man. 

** To the Spirit, enlightening our understandings, purifying our 
" wills, and confirming our faith, we must impute all that is 
«* good in us, all that proficiency in true holiness, which 
<* qualifies us for the enjoyment of Heaven ; and through this 
«< disciplme it is, that they who sovj to the Spirit ^ are in the enc^ 
«' enabled of the Spirit to reap life everlasting." 

*< All the revelations of God's will, even to our Lord himself as 
«* the fnan Christ yesits, and all the secret tllumtnations of the 
*« faithful, in all times, are to be regarded as so many emanations 
« from the Spirit of God, the Enligbttner: all the £^dual im- 

pamphleteer or controversialist, who is aspiring at favour 
and preferment. But away with names, and the petty- 
distinctions of religious party. Are you a Christian, or 
wish to be one, indeed, not in word only ; for the sake 
of spiritual, not temporal purposes? Then drop your 
prejudices, and seek the Spirit of Christianity; 
not in systems, but in the written gospel, assisted by- 
prayer, and the pious illustrations of sincere, good men, 
however they may have been reviled or neglected, 
through prejudice, political artifice, or mistaken zeal. 

<' provements of our virtuCj all the graces which first descend 
<^ upon our hearts, and then manifested themselves in every good 
« word and woTk, are the production of the same Spirit, in hi& 
** office of Sanctifier: and lastly, all the firmness and resolution we 
*' possess, under every trial in the world, all the foretaste we have 
« of future favour and acceptance, all ovirjoy 3,nd peace in believ*' 
<* zngf are the signs and proofs of the Comforter speaking to us,* 
** and, according to our Saviour's /?rom/*e, abiding in vs.** 

" If fl ray of light break in upon us ; if a new degree of kiio'vt*' 
*' ledge be imparted to us ; if we see the truth of the gospel more* 
<^ clearly, in any respect, than before we had done; vie cannct 
*' mistake in ascribing this additional /^^/brmaif/on or conviction^ to 
^' the illuminating Spirit Viithin us," 

** If we perceive our devotions to be quickened, our hopes en- 
<< livened, our faith fortified y we shall not mistake (having the ex- 
** press promise of our Lord and Master) in ascribing these con- 
<* solations of peace and joy to the Comforter; we may regard them 
<« as the earnest and pledge of the Spirit in our hearts. Eph. i. 14. 

" I know," continues he, <* that this will appear strange to 
** natural reason. But so the scripture has prepared us to expect 
<' they would do. For the natural man (says the Apostle) receiv- 
«« eth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolish- 
*' ness unto him. (1 Cor. ii. 14.) And to the same purpose, our 
«' Master himself, speaking of the spirit of truth; — '<whom 
*' (says he) the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, 
•* neither knoweth him ; but ye (addressing himself to his dia- 
*' ciples, that is, to men who walk by faith, and not by sight,) 
♦* ye know him; for he dwelleth in yon, and shall be in you." 

Bp. HuKD, Serm. 18. vol. i?, 


When you have thus found the truth, shew its influence 
by youi* charity. Be united to all Christians, as well as 
to Christ ; and beware of making; distinctions, by nick- 
names, and thus exciting envy, wrath, malice, which 
are of a nature opposite to the friiits of the Spirit, love, 
joy, and peace. Good men should join in a firm pha- 
lanx, that the evil may not triumph on their divisions. 
Let all who are united under the banners of Christ, 
hail one another as brother Christians, though they 
may differ on the subject of church discipline, rites, 
ceremonies, or even non-essential doctrine.* 

" If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort 
" in love, if any fellowshifi of the Spirit^ if any bowels 
" and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, 

** * Setting aside many circumstances, in which men may softly 
** err, there are but few truths of scripture of an essential nature ; 
-** or, to speak more properly, there is but one, concerning which 
^' all believers (I mean those who deserve the name) are firmly 
** agreed. This truth is the testimony of the word of God con- . 
<* cerning Jesns Christ, that he came into the world to save sin- 
** ners fully, freely, and eternally. So little room then, in reality, 
** does the scripture give for the diversity of opinions, that it calls 
** for perfect unity of sentiment ; the diversity itself being owing 
«< to the corruption and blindness of human nature in the worst, 
*< as well as the remains of that corruption and blindness in the 
** best. The evidence of this truth, whence arises so full an 
«* agreement among believers, and such complete satisfaction in 
** their own minds, is far greater than what can arise from any 
" argumentation, in which mankind are apt to deceive both them- 
*' selves and others. It is the evidence of internal experience. I 
«* feel myself lost and miserable. I experience such an healthful 
•' change in my whole moral system: so that, upon the whole, 
<< Christiamty is the true cure of scepticism; and to the seriously 
<* disposed, who submit to the teaching of the Spirit ^ it gives the 
** highest internal evidence of its onvn truth. A man finds himself 
<< naturally averse to all good, ignorant of God, and without 
«< either love or gratitude towards him, selfish and hard-hearted 
<< with respect to his fellow-creatures. By puttmg his trust in 
*< iChri^t, \hc ^as attained peace of conscience, love, and new 


'* having the same love, being of one accord, and of one 
" mind."* 

Let us consider how the hard-hearted, unconverted, 
depraved, and worthless part of mankind exult, while 
Christians, agreeing in essentials, quarrel and re^^e 
each other, not on the substance of religion, but on the 
mere shades of difference in opinion in matters of in- 
difference. Let not the Philistians triumph. Let the 
olive-bearing army of peace-makers be combined under 
the banners of benevolence. Theirs is an unbloodyt cru- 
sade; theirs is the contest of love. The victories in 
their warfare are over sin, misery, and death ; and their 
crown, immortality. Let them march on to the soft 
harmony of Hosannas and Hallelujahsj uninterrupted by 

** views of the glory of God. He has experienced a real change 
** in his affections and tempers. Surely he must be allowed to be 
" a competent judge of what he has felt ; he may preach too, by 
*< his life, the truth and the power of the gospel to others ; and as 
** he will find his evidences increase more and more, he may be 
<* more and more happy, from the consciousness of God within 
*' him now, (Col. i. 2T. 2 Cor. xiii. 5.) and the prospect of bliss 
'* hereafter. 

** If it be asked, where are such persons to he found ? It is 
" confessed their number is but rare. We may thank for this, 
*< the contempt of the operations of the Holy Ghost ^ which prevails 
" in our days. A serious desire of knowing the real truth, and a 
** spirit of submission to this divine teaching, are things which 
<< the truth requires of all who seek it: if you refuse this, you 
** unreasonably refuse to Christianity her own mode and order of 
*' things ; you strip her of her arms, and then complain of her 
" feebleness and impotency. But if you submit to be the scholar 
" of Jesus indeed, you will find, by experience, whether he will 
*< not give you to know the truth, and whether the truth will not 
'* make you free." Milner. 

* Phil. ii. 1, 2. 

t " The pope would have done well to have thrown away his 
*\ keys (as they say one of them once did,) before he t.ibqk the sviord 
*' into his hands." 



the discordant din of angry contention. Are you a sin- 
cere believer? a lover of God and man? I salute you 
from my heart as my brother in Christ, whether, in con- 
sequence of your birth and education, you formed the 
c^eed you utter, at Rome, at Geneva, or in your closet at 
home* The Holy Ghost is the centre of our union ; and 
all vi'ho are joined to him, must be associated in love. 
Under the illustrious champions of Christianity, who 
flourished, in England, during the last century, great 
were the triumphs of grace over human obduracy. 
The word of God ivas mighty^ and cast dow7i imagina^ 
nans*. The sword of the Spirit, a Jigurative sword, 
the only one appioved by Christianity, wielded by men 
%vho, like these, fought the good fight of faith, has been 
irresistable. But many since their time, have left it 
rust in its scabbard, and used, as a substitute for it, the 
wooden batoon of heathen ethics and modern philoso- 
phy, in a kind of mock fight, beating the air, to the 
amusement of the indifferent or unbelieving spectator. 
The men of the world, who laugh at religion, and the 
pretended philosophers, who reason against it, observ- 
ing that the sword of the Spirit was no longer used, 
come forth with the renewed and increased audacity of 
those who love to display their prowess, when there is 
but a feeble opposition. They sang the song of victory, 
and ventured to suggest that Christianity, conscious of 
the badness of her cause, had surrendered in fact, tho' 
€he still kept up the afipearance of defence y for the sake of 
decency, lucre, and/zo/^V^'ca/ deception. Infidelity plum- 
fed herself on her fancied conquest, and has long been 
endeaving to sway her sceptre over the most polished 
countries of Christendom. In France, at last, she flat- 
ters herself she has gained a complete victory, and 
silenced her opponent for ever. 

♦ 2 Cor. ix. V. 3<fi6*Aoy;!r^oy$, which we render ima^lnatiom^ 
certaialy signifies r&asoninqs. 


Let us mark and deplore the consequence to morals 
and society. Extreme selfishness, pride, vanity, envy, 
malice, hardness of heart, fraud, cunning, and the false 
varnish of external decorum, hiding internal deformity, 
have remarkably prevailed in recent times, in the most 
polished regions, rendering man, as an individual, 
"wretched and contemptible, and society comfortless 
and insecure. The human race has degenerated, in 
proportion as faith has diminished. The true spirit of 
Christianity, which can alone dignify human natui'e, 
and soften and liberalize the obdurate, contracted, selfish 
bosom of the mere natural animal'^^ man, has not been 
sufficiently diffused, since it has been fashionable to 
extol natural religion, by depreciating grace ; and the 
result has been, a deplorable profligacy both in principle 
and practice. 

Haw devoutly then is it to be wished, that this true 
spirit may revive ; that the divine influence of the genu- 
ine Gospel t may again prevail, and melt the heart of 
steel, and bow the stubborn knees of the men of the 
world, and the wise men whom the world admires I Be- 
hold them pursuing their own petty, selfish, sordid purpo- 
ses, regardless of all others, but as they serve their own 

•]• I hope the present time is not that of which the Apostle 
speaks : 

" The time will come, when they will- not endure sound doc- 
•< trine." 2 Tim. iv. 3. 

Men who preach against divine grace, may be said to be those 
whom Christ addresses in these words : 

<« Ye shut up the kingdom of Heaven against men ; for ye 
'< neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are enter- 
'< ing to go in." Matt, xxiii. 13. 

But while God's eternal truth is its foundation, and God's Holy 
Spirit its giiardy neither violence nor treachery can subvert the 
kingdom of Heaven. 

A a2 


interest or pleasure ; neither loving God nor man, and 
depraved to a nature almost diabolical, by habits of 
fashionable voluptuousness, selfishness, and cruelty, 
authorized by the most illustrious examples in high 
life. Behold this diabolical character transforming itself 
to an angel of light, by studied embellishments and 
polished manners, in which truth, honour, and benevo- 
lence are assumed as a cloak to cover the basest treache- 
ry, the vilest arts of dissimulation. Behold this charac- 
ter recommended, with all the charms of language, by- 
one of the first noblemen, wits, and writers of the 
times, as the mai^k of the most solid wisdom ; behold 
it, in consequence of recommendation so powerful, 
spreading among the youth of the nation, and diffusing 
a polished, splendid misery, like the shining appearance 
which is seen on masses of corruption and putrescence. 
*< Ye are the salt of the earth," says our Saviour; evi- 
dently meaning the salt that is to preserve the w^orld 
from a corrupt state, by becomiiig the means of grace 
to those who hear you preach and teach the true doc- 
trine. How is he then the friend of man, or of his 
country, who obstructs the prevalence of such doctrine ? 
Yet men, apparently good and, learned, have united with 
the unprincipled, in placing every obstacle in the way 
of its diffusion among the people. 

The grace of God is favourable to the tranquillity and 
security of the state; to the community, as well as to 
individuals, by teaching virtue of the most beneficial 
kind under the strongest sanction. " The grace of 
*' God," says the apostle, '* teaches us to deny all un- 
^' godliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, rightc* 
" oudy^ and godly in the world." Yet against the 
prevalence of this grace of God, many pens and tongues 
have been employed during the last fourscore years; 
the pens and tongues, not of profligate infidels only, but 
of divines, teaching, for Christianityj a moral system of 


philosophy, well known * long before the nativity of 
Christ; and thus rendering, as far as their efforts could 

* Yet the heathens themselves, mere moralises as they are often 
considered, had an idea of the divhie energy. Remarkable are the 
^ords of Maximus Tyriiis. 

*< Do you wonder that God was present with Socrates, friendly, 
'^ and prophetic of futurity — ant inmate of his mind? — A 
«* man, he was, pure in his body, good in his soul, exact in the 
** conduct of his life, masterly in thinking, eloquent in speaking,. 
** pious towards God, and holy towards men." 

The doctrine of divine assistance, or of the immediate operation 
of the heavenly Spirit on the mind of man, is so far from unrea- 
sonable, that it was maintained by some of the greatest masters 
of reason, before the appearance of Christianity. The heathens 
did not affirm that the knowledge they possessed of theology was 
derived to them from reason j for Plato expressly says it is Q>ia)r 
%iq Avd^ofTTiyig 3o<r<5, the gift of the Gods to men, — the effect of 
divine communication. They deemed it supernatural^ that reason 
should discover the will of God; a gift above nature, (^cifpixv^ 
ifTTi^ <pu7iv viKHcrot.)) T/iV (pt;<rij,) and overcoming nature in its pre- 
sent state of imbecility. The dead may as easily arise and walk> 
as the mind of man, fallen, as it is, into a state of spiritual deathi, 
raise itself to God and a divine life. Nothing can enable man to 
do those things which are above his natural poiverSf but supernatu^ 
ral aid, and that must come from the influence of the Deity. 

It is, however, worth while to mark the DiscoRDANt" and iu' 
consistent opinions of celebrated heathens on the subject of divine 

** Bonus wV sine Deo nemo est.^'* Seneca, Epist. 41. 

*< Deus in hiimano corpore hospitans.*^ Epist. 31. 

Yet this same philosopher says, in another place, <* Est aliquid 
*"* quo sapiens antecedat Deiim, lUe natiine benejicio^ non suoj sdpl- 
*^ ens €it. In one respect a philosopher excels God. God is 
** obliged to nature for his wisdom, and cannot help being so, 
•» The philosopher thanks himself cnly." Epist. 5o. 

** Atque hoc quidem omnes mortales sic habenty extemas ccmmo- 
•' ditates, vineta, segetes, oiivetaf ubertatem frugum et fructuumy 
** omnein denique comtnoditaientf prosperitateriique vitaiy a Diis se 
*' habere; mftuiem avtem nemo unqiiam acceptavit Deo retulit. Ni' 
»* mirum recti. Propter virtuteni enimjure laudamur, et in virfute 


prevail, his gospel a superfluous, and even ugly excres- 
cence upon it. There is a kind of wisdom, we are told 
on the best authority, " which descendeth not from 
" above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish*." No 
wonder that men, who are taught, by their instructors, 
to pursue this wisdom, and, in effect^ to reject the gos- 
pel at the very moment they are solemnly professing 
it, should become (like the wisdom which they cultivate, 
and which the Apostle so strongly reprobates) earthly, 
sensual, devilish. Much of the profligacy of man- 
ners in the present century is to be attributed to the 
desertion of the religion of our forefathers, and the teach- 
ing of a Christianity which has not the savour of life^ 
and was unknown in England at the reformation. 

^ Earthly, sensual, devilishy' are the epithets which 
the Apostle uses : now let us turn from the written book 
to the living world.. Can any impartial observer denyj 

*« recte glorlumur, ^odnon contingeref, si z'c/ doniim a Deo, ?2on 
'* a Jiobis haberemus. At vero aiit hotiortbus aiictiy aut refamiUari^ 
*^ aut si aliud qidppiam nacti smnus fortuiti bonzy depulinius mali, 
^^ cum Diis gratias agimus, turn nihil nostra laudi assumptum arbi- 
*' tramur, Niim quisy quod bonus vir esset, gratias Diis tgit wquam P 
'* at quod di'vesj quod honor atus,- c/uod ihcoiumis. Ad rein autefn ut 
** redeam, judicium hoc omnium, ynortalium esty Jbrtunam a Deo 
" petendamy a seipso sumendam esse sapient id7n.^^' 

Cicero, de Nat. Deor. lib. 3. c. 36. 

<' Midtos et nostra civitas et Grcecia tulit singulares vires quorum 
*♦ neminemj nisi juvante Deo, talemfuisse credeiuitim est." Nat. Deor. lib. 2. 

« Nemo igitur vir magnus sine aliquo afflatu divino usquam^uit.'*^ 


«* ITic est qiiisquam gentis ulltus qui ducem naturatn na.ctus ad vir- 
«' tutem pervenire potest," G i c. Legi 

Both Cicero's and Seneca's sentiments cn<this subject are con- 

Max. Tyr. Dm, 22: 
* James, iii. 15, 


without affected candour, that there are many, whose 
conduct deserves these epithets^ and can he deny, that 
they are chiefly among persons who seem to live with- 
out God in the world, and to be unbelievers in Revela- 
tion, though perhaps conformists to the church? Such 
persons seem, to delight in evil; and, like the being from 
whom the last of these e/iuhets is taken, to go about, 
seeking whom they may devour*. No man can be 
much conversant in any business in the world, espe- 
cially where there is competition, without meeting with 
men who hesitate at no falsehood or baseness, and with 
whom it is never safe to have either conversation or 
transaction. Plausibly pretending to courteousness, ta 
friendship to every thing just, right, and amiable, they lie 
in wait to deceive and to injure. They will do wantoA 
mischief, for its own sake. They will not only demolish 
the fair fabric of another's happiness, but laugh over the 
ruins which they have made. 

How beneficial would it be for such persons, and for 
society, if their hearts were renewed by regenerating 
grace ; if they could be persuaded to believe that there 
really is something more desirable than mammon; 
something that contributes more to happiness, and the 
pleasurable enjoyment of life, than shew, equipage, liv* 
ing in the eyes of others^ and the indulgence of an un- 
feeling, self4dGlizing vanity, at the expence of truth^ 
justice, mercy, and every thing that gives solid satis- 
faction and real dignity. The grace of God would eveu 

* Read, in the fcllowing description from scripture, how men. 
ONCE degenera'.ed, when estranged from God. 

<* So that there reigned in all men, without exception, blood, 
** manslaughter,, theft, and dissimulation; corruption, unfaithful- 
*» ness, tumults, perjury, dis'quieting of good men, forgetfulness 
*' of good turns, defiling of souls, changi ig of kind, disorder in 
«' maxriage, adultery, and shameless uncleanness." 

Wisdom, c. xiv. 23.-29. 


ADORN them, make them more estimable and honom'a- 
ble, than the longest series of unmeaning titles, the 
most brilliant gems in a coronet, the most magnificent 
houses and parks, and most gaily-painted vehicles. It 
would do more; it would liberalize and soften their 
hearts, and make them men^ such as the Creator in- 
tended them to be, feelingly alive to the charms of 
goodness, and to the touch of sympathy. The film 
would be removed from their eyes; and v/hile they con- 
sulted the peace and happiness of others, they would 
see the things that belong unto their own. The horizon 
of their mental vision, now all sombrous and cloudy, 
would be beautifully serene. The stream of their lives, 
now a desolating torrent, abruptly dashing and foaming 
over its banks, would flow in its proper channel, smooth 
and clear, blest and blessing in its course. 

Surely every thinking and good-natured mortal, who 
observes what a despicable and detestable, or rather 
pitiable object, a man may becomes, however elevated 
his rank and affiuent his fortune, when his heart ia 
hardened, and he feels no sentiment of love to God, or 
kindness to his fellow-creatures, must wish to promote, 
and gladly co-operate with others in promoting, the 
prevalence of the true Spirit of Christianity*. This 

* The true Spirit of Christianity can alone preserve the church 
and sincere religion in society. 

'* I must profess, that I believe the degeneracy from the 
*< truth and power of the Chrisiian religion, the ignorance of the 
** principal doctrines of the Gospel, and that scorn which is cast 
*< in these, and the like expressions, on the grace of our Lord 
** Jesus Christ, by such as not only profess themselves to be min- 
<* is'ers, but of a higher degree than ordinary, will be sadly omi- 
*' nous to the whole state of the reformed church amongst us, if 
«* not timely repressed and corrected. Dr. Owen. 

The scriptures themselves attribute the corruption of religion, 
and even the total loss of divine knowledge, to the reasonings,, 
of men upon it : when they regard the outviaj d, and neglect or 
despise the inward testimonj^. 


alone, operating: by grace, can restore the depraved^ 
fallen, wretched creature, become by his perverseness, 

There is no truth more clearly asserted in scripture, than that 
the things of God are not known but by the Spirit of God. 

** The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of 
'* G<!>d; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know 
« them, because they are spiritually discerned." 

1 CoR. ii. 14. 

** He that lacheth these things,''^ (the graces mentioned in a pre- 
ceding verse, particularly t\\t partaking of tht di'oine nature,) *' z> 
*< BLIND, and cannot see afar off^ 2 Pet. i. 9. 

Men wanting these graces, and this participation of the divine 
»ature, we are expressly told, grev^ vain in their imagiyiaticns ; 
professing themselves w/6'e, they became y^o/.?/ worshipping the 
treature (and among the created things is to be numbered the 
faculty of reasoning) more than the Creator. They spoiled the 
religion of Christ, through philosophy and vain deceit, after the 
traditions of men, und turned the truth of God ijito a lie. This 
was in consequence of following the rudiments of the viorldy 
Kotrcc TX 6'6i^iio6j according to the elements and principles of 
natural reason and philosophy. Wherefore the Apostle would 
have them dead to the ruditnents of the world, for they are cniy 
the commandments and doctrines qfuBtf, vainly puffed up by their 
FLESHLY mind, and science falsely so called, consisting of foolish 
and unlearned questions, which served only to gender strife. 
(2 Tim. ii. 23.) 

The Apostle gives Timothy a description of human learning 
unaccompanied with divine grace; and says that " it is proud, 
** knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of 
«* words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 
*' perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the 
•< truth.** (1 Tim. vi. 4. 2 Tim. ii. 14.) He therefore bids him 
put them in remembrance, charging them, before the Lord, not 
to strive with words to no profit, but to the perverting of the 
hearer; for they will increase into tnore u?igodli?iess, (they will 
cause infidels to grow more obstinate and disputatious in defence 
of their imbejief,) and their luords ivill eat as cankers; (they wiil, 
by submitting the claims of Christianity to human reason only, 
^at up and destroy its very essence, -which is diviae.) Therefoi-e 


earthly^ sensual^ devilish^ to his proper rank, as a rational, 
immortal being, and to the unspeakable happiness, for 
which he was intended by divine benevolence. 

Mine is an humble attempt to promote the prevalence 
of the true Spirit of Christianity. In recommending the 
doctrine which this book particularly enforces, I know 
that I am justified by the holy scriptures*, by the church, 
by the tenets of the most learned and virtuous of the dis- 
senters, and the greatest divines of this country, who have 
displayed their abilities, either by the press or the pulpit. 
I claim no merit, but that of endeavouring to rescue 
the true and most momentous doctrine of the Gospel 
from the neglect and contempt in which it has been 
involved, during this century, by false policy and fiarti- 
ality^ expressing their rancorous hatred to sects, deemed, 
at various times, injurious to certain worldly interests, 
tind temporary purposes of state. Christianity itself 
has been wounded by weapons, ain^ed only at men, 
whose political sentiments might perhaps be wrong, 
though their religious were, for the most part, strictly 

he again dissuades, **foolhb a?id unlearned questions y knowing that 
«* they do gender strifes;" that instead of settling disputes, and 
confirming men in the faith, they provoke controversy, multiply 
doubts, and are ultimately a fruitful cause of infidelity '* If you 
«< are determined to rely on reasoning,*' said the Tindals, Collinses, 
Morgans, Chubbs, and Paines, ** we will accept your challenge, 
*' and fight you with the weapons of your own choice." Tbey 
fought; and in the opinions of many deluded persons, were often 
victorious in the field of syllogism. 

It is a sad instance of imprudence in the leaders of our Chris- 
tian warfare, when they give up the sword of the Spirit, and rely 
entirely on the (poovvi^ct a-U^Kog for protection and defence. The 
doctrine of grace furnishes a panoply. 

* «* He who doubts it, quarrels not with our creed, but cur 
^* grammar; and instead of going to church to be instructed bet- 
♦' ter, he ought to be sent to school.** Bp. Hickmak/ 


t:onformable to scripture*, and beneficial to every com- 

I confess myself, in this attempt, to be only the pupil 
of those GREAT MASTERS whosc opiuious I have copi- 
ously cited, that they may be both an ornament and 
defence to my imperfect manual of Christian Philo- 
sophy. Some of the greatest deceased divines of the 
church of England, next to the scriptures, are my chief 
authority. Happy am I to sit at the feet of such in- 
structors ; men, whose learning and abilities were of the 
very first magnitude, and whose piety and goodness of 
heart seem to have vied, for excellence, with their vigo- 
rous understandings, and accurate knowledge of scrip- 
tural theology. It is honour enough to be merely in- 
strumental in republishing their salutary doctrines, and 
giving them the inconsiderable sanction of my public, 
though single vote. If they w^ere now alive, they would 
be most anxiously diligent, in the present state of Chris- 
tianity, in exciting the true spirit of vital and experimen- 
tal religion. Never was there more occasion for their 
zeal and activity than now ; and it appears to me, that 
their mode of recommending Christianity was a right 
mode, because, among other reasons, it has the test of 
experience in its favour. 

The fact is incontrovertible, that in their times it was 
greatly successful. The true spirit of Christianity, dur-. 
ing their ministry of the Gospel, mightily grew and pre- 
vailed. Infidelity was uncommon and infamous ; and the 
mild, meek, placid temper of the Gospel was deemed, 
even in the highest ranks of society, not only conducive 
to happiness, but ornamental. Rehgious grace was 
valued above all graceful accomplishments. Men glo- 
ried in maintaining, openly and consistently, the Chris- 

* Many who dislike the discipline and communion of OUT church, 
£rmly adhere to the articles of it. 



tian character; and the force of truth, not weakened hj 
false politics, made it even a fashion. 

I have laboured to revive the principles of those times; 
not without a hope, that they may have similar success 
in our day, if duly encouraged by high example. Men 
are doubtless, now as well as ever, susceptible of reli- 
.gious impressions, if properly enforced on evangeli- 
cal authority. The times, it is said, are altered ; but 
let it be remembered, that men make the times, and 
that men are very much modelled by books and all pub- 
lic instruction. 

It is certainly unwise, in the present adverse circum- 
stances of Christendom, to neglect or discountenance 
any mode of effectually disseminating and confirming 
the Christian faith, more especially any mode which 
has in past times been found successful, and is author- 
ized by scripture. 

For myself, I must beg leave to say, what is indeed 
sufficiently evident, that I have been in search of truth, 
not of favour or advantage. I have deemed religion 
lovely enough to be wedded without a dowry. I have 
had no sinister view, but have employed my hours of 
leisure in a way which I thought might be most bene-* 
ficial to my fellow-creatures and my country. If I am 
wrong in my doctrine; if my great masters have 
instructed me erroneously, I am open to conviction, and 
shall rejoice to be better informed. I will say with the 
poet, addressing the Father of Lights^ 

<< If I am right, thy grace impart, 

" Still in the right to stay; 
*< If I am wrong, O teach my heart 
M To find that better way." 

In the mean time, I make this offering to my fellow- 
mortals, labouring, like myself, in pursuit of happiness, 
though, many of them, in a different mode; and I dedicate 
it^ with sincere devotion, to truth, piety, and peace. 

[ 291 ] 


No. I. 

Cursory Remarks on one or t%vo Objections in Mr. Paine '$ 
last Pamphlet^ against the authenticity of the GosfieL 

XT is much against my opinion of propriety to 
recommend to public notice, the writings of infidels, by 
animadverting upon them ; it is still more so, to quote 
their cavils, though v^^ith an intent to refute them. 
What is this, indeed, but to contribute to the dissemi- 
nation of their errors, while it gratifies their vanity? 
Mr. Gibbon avowed that fame was his object; and it 
may be suspected, that the greater part of sceptical or 
infidel writers, are pleased with those answers and refu- 
tations, which, though they are meant to discountenance 
^hem, yet do, in fact, contribute, more than any thing 
else, to their publicity, notoriety, or, as they may con- 
ceive, to their glory. 

But with respect to Mr. Paine, his notoriety is already 
so great, as scarcely to admit of increase ; and there is 
too much reason to fear, that his infidel writings will 
attract general notice, at least among the lower classes, 
without any aid from controversial opposition. I tt^ink, 
therefore, I shall do no harm, if, unfortunately, I should 
do no good, by making one or two remarks on his 
recent attackpa.Christianity. 

Mr. PdBHl^upposed, by his partisans, to have laid 
the axe ^IbHSp^^ of revealed religion. His blows, 
indeed, are^^pit ; but they miss their aim. His wea^ 

292 J?PENDIX. 

pon is blunted and repelled, by striking against a solid 
substance. Many such strokes have, at various times, 
been levelled at Christianity ; but the hardy tree, rooted 
deeply in the hearts of men, and watered by the dews 
of Heaven, has vegetated with fresh vigour, and, after 
the operation of lopping, diffused its branches with 
additional luxuriance. 

In Mr. Paine's theological works there is, indeed, little 
jfovELTY. His objections have been frequently con- 
sidered, and, for the most part, removed. They, are, 
however, new to the young and the unlearned, who 
seldom possess time, books, or inclination, sufficient to 
qualify them as judges of their solidity. Mr. Paine's 
political opinions contribute much to recommend, among 
many, his theological ; and thus party zeal is unfortu* 
nately excited in favour of religious scepticism or actual 
infidelity. From a variety of causes, peculiar to the 
present times and circumstances, there is too much 
feason to apprehend, that Mr« Paine's theological pam* 
phlet is too favourably received ; and that it will contri- 
bute to diifuse licentiousness, both of principles and 
practice. It is not from real novelty, or the peculiar 
ability of the author, but from temporary circumstances, 
that it will derive its malignant eflicacy. I am not pre- 
sumptuous enough in my own powers, to suppose my- 
self able to counteract it. But I have attempted it 
throughout this book; not doubting that some of those 
many learned and ingenious divines, who, by their high 
situation in the church, enjoy ample leisure, possess 
extensive libraries, and all other opportunities for infor- 
mation, will step forward to oppose an attack, which 
tends to undermine the whole fabric of the visible 
CHURCH, and which, if successful, must render their 
high offices not only superfluous, but ri4jriBbus; their 
dignities not only badges of folly, but, \^I^ is worsQ> 
gf knavish hypocrisy. 


Mr. Paine is an additional instance to prove that men, 
deeply immersed in the affairs of the world, and con- 
sidering its politics as matters of the first, if not the only 
importance, usually bring with them dispositions to the 
study of Christianity, which render them blind to its 
EVIDENCE and excellence. They come with a pride 
and confidence in their own reason, a state of mind 
peculiarly offensive to the Sovereign of Heaven, who 
resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 

The kingdom of Christ not being of this world, they 
view it as aliens^ not only with indifference, but disaf- 
fection. Indeed, they seldom give themselves the trou- 
ble to study, as they ought, the nature of its transcen- 
dent polity. 

It is an old observation, and confirmed by daily expe- 
rience, that men are apt to condemn what they do not 
understand.^ Mr. Paine, indeed, is not deficient in un- 
derstanding. He has given indubitable proofs of great 
sagacity ; but his sagacity, applied to religion, is that 
of the natural man, as the Apostle describes him. 
There is a spiritual understanding; an under- 
standing irradiated by divine grace, necessary to com- 
prehend the things of the Spirit, without which a man 
is scarcely better qualified to judge of the gospel, as it 
is grace and truth, than the Wind to decide on the 
beauty of a picture. He may descant on words and 
syllables. He may view the letter of the scriptures as 
a critic, a logician, an historian; but there is a veil on 
his heart, which prevents him from perceiving that wit- 
ness or testimony of the Spirit, which carries conviction, 
in defiance of all difficulties and obscurities in the letter. 
The Gospel is the ministration of Sfiirit and life^ and 
the power of God unto salvation. This power op 
God is not to be limited in its action, to the ability of 
any man or set of men to suggest or answer objections 
to any particular portions of the scripture. It shines> 

»b % 


on, however men may cavil. Like the moon, it con- 
tinues to illuminate the night, unaffected by the poor 
ignorant animals who bark at her benign radiance. 
There is internal evidence in Mr* Paine's pamphlet, 
that he is unhappily unacquainted with the ministration 
of the Spirit and the poweh of God, as it is described 
in the Gospel, and experienced by true believers. He 
is out of his province, where he treats of theology, and 
resembles the philosopher of antiquity, who gave lec- 
tures to Hannibal, on the art of war. 

But Mr. Paine is not only ignorant of Christianity; 
he is prejudiced against it. His politics appear to him 
incompatible with the power of the church; and to 
undermine the church, he levels his blow at the whole 
of Christianity. He pierces Christ, to stab the priest- 
hood through his sides. 

As the poHcy of monarchial countries has made the 
church an ally of the state, he endeavours to weaken 
the state, by demolishing its ally. Religion in France, 
corrupted by political artifice, and depraved by super- 
stition, was favourable to slavery. He transfers his 
hatred from religion so abused, to all religion but deism. 
He considers revelation as a mere state contrivance ; not 
aware that the church and kingdom of Christ subsist, 
independently of all external authority, in the hearts of 
all true believers, in every clime, united by the Holy 
Ghost, under their king and priest, Jesus Christ* 
The living temple of the human heart would still stand, 
if all the temples of stone, in the violent and wicked 
contentions of poUticians, were demolished and swept 
away with the besom of destrucdon. The whole legions 
of France, supposing them united under the banners of 
Mr. Paine, (and I am far from thinking that the whole 
of that nation, or even a majority, would enlist in the 
cause of infidelity,) would be unable to destroy thj-s 
TEMPI.E not made mth hancls^ not cemented with mor- 


tar, but with the Spirit of hohness and love. But Mr. 
Paine's prejudice against local churches, (all which 
have been corrupted,) leads hiin, most unjustly and 
unphilosophicaily, to hate the truly catholic invhible 
churchy which is far above the politics of this world, and 
too pure to admit the abuses introduced by despotism 
and knavery imposing upon folly. 

Mr. Paine takes what has been called " a short nvay^^ 
with the Christians, or supporters of Christianity. He 
goes through and explodes the whole of the Old and 
New Testament, in the pages of a trivial pamphlet. 
My limits will not, at present, suffer me to enter on the 
objections which he makes to the Old Testament. In- 
deed I am ready to confess myself unable to defend or 
explain all those parts which are excepted against by 
Mr. Paine, and appear to be really difficult and obscure. 
But they have often been defended and explained by 
others, with great learning and sagacity. 

I am more particularly concerned, as indeed are all 
Christians, with the JVew lestament; and not so much 
with the LETTER, as with the Spirit. Mr. Paine's 
cavils against the letteh have been often made, and 
well refuted. I beg the reader who is not firmly settled 
in the faith by better evidence, than any human 
learning can afford to study with attention, adequate to 
the important subject, Dr. Townson and Dr*LARDNER 
on the Gospels, and Mr, West oii the Resurrection*. 
He Will conclude, from a perusal of their exctLent 
books, that there is cause sufficient for every pious, 
humble man to give his full assent to all the essential 
parts of the Gospel history ; to be rooted in faith, to 
rest in hope, and to abound in charity. I^et him wish 
Mr. Paine a better mind, and then suffer his books 

* Dr. Trapp on the Gospels, is a very useful book for the un- 
le earned. 


to take their natural course, as many of the same kind 
have done, to the gulph of oblivion. 

I shall advert only to one or two principal objections 
made by Mr. Paine, leaving the rest to those wUo excel 
and delight in critical theology. From the specimen I 
give, I mean no more than that the young or unlearned 
reader should see that Mr. Paine is not yet entitled to 
the epithet bestowed on one of the schoolmen, that of 


I pass by the indecency and blasphemy of the intro- 
ductory objections which he makes to the New Testa- 
ment, with a contemptuous silence. All that is advan- 
ced on this occasion, has been well considered and 
answered, long before Mr. Paine was brought into ex- 

I refer the reader to Dr. Townson^ for a satisfactory 
account of the difference in the genealogies of Christ, as 
given by St. Matthew and St. Luke; though I shall 
have occasion to mention them presently. In the mean 
time, I proceed to the general objection. The gene^ 
ral objection to the credibility of the Gospel history is 
made by Mr. Paine in the following w^ords: 

" The presumption is," says he, " that the books 
" called the Evangelists, and ascribed to Matthew, 
^' Mark, Luke, and John, were not written by Matthew, 
" Mark, Luke, and John, and that they are impositions, 
" The disordered state of the history, in these few books, 


" IN ANOTHER, and the disagreement that is to be 
" found among them, implies that they are the produc- 
<< tions of some unconnected individuals, many years 
^^ after the things they pretend to relate; each of whom 
" made his own legend; and not the writings of men, 
" living intimately together, as the men called the Apos- 
" ties are supposed to have done ; in fine, that they are 
" MANUFACTURED, as the books of the Old Testament 


" have been, by other persons than those whose names 
" they bear/* 

This paragraph evinces Mr, Paine's ignorance of the 
dates of the Gospel's pubUcation, the particular occasions 
on which they were written, and the pecuHar scope or 
purpose of each writer. It is an allowed truth, that all 
the Evangelists wrote a considerable tiine after the 
ascension of our Saviour, at different periods, for dif- 
ferent purposes, from different places, to different des- 
criptions of men; ail which the reader may see well 
explained in Dr. Town son's discourses on the GospeL 

But for the sake of readers busily engaged in the 
world, who may not have read, or be inclined to read, 
Dl\ Townson's, or other books on the subject, I will 
submit a few considerations, which I think, will remove 
this general objection, which arises chiefly from " the. 


The Times and Places of writing the four Gospels were 
as follow: 
Gospek. Place. From our Lord's 

St. Matthew's, Judea, 64 yrs» 

St. Mark's, Rome, 64 

St. Luke's, Greece, 64 

St. John's, Ephesus, 68 

Or, according to Dr. Owen, 
St. Matthew's, Jerusalem, for the use of 

the Jewish converts^ 3S 

St. Luke's Corinth, for the use of the 

Gentile converts^ 53 

St. Mark's, Rome, /or the use ofChris^ 

tians at large ^ 63 

St. John's, Ephesus, to confute the 

heresy of CE^Ri^nuSy 69 


The times of writing are differently given by the 
learned Dr, Mill, in his Prolegomena to the New Testa- 
ment: thus, 

From the Ascension. 
St. Matthew wrote - - - - 61 

St. Mark, - 63 

St. Luke, ------ 64 

St. John, 97 

Each of the Evangelists had a particular view or in- 
tention in writing his Gospel history; at the same time 
that he calculated it for general information, in all ages 
of militant Christianity. 

By the way, I must observe, that the distance of time 
from our Lord's ascension, to the writing of the Gos- 
pels, (erroneously stated by Dr. Watts, in the quotation 
from him in the preceding pages,) furnishes me with 
an argument in favour of my main doctrine. During 
sixty, seventy, or perhaps nearly a hundred years, 
Christianity flourished without the assistance of any 
written Gospel. This must have been by the Spirit's 
immediate influence. It does not appear, that when the 
apostolical epistles were written, any of the Gospels 
which we now have, were extant or known. They are 
not mentioned in the epistles, nor is there any allusioH 
to them. Yet it is clear from the epistles, that there 
were large churches or societies of Christians — without 
a written Gospel — except that which was written on the 
heart of the humble believer by the Spirit's ministration. 
To return to Mr. Paine's objection, concerning the 
" silence of one Gospel on matters related in another.'^ 

This will not appear at all wonderful, when it is con- 
sidered, that St. Matthew wrote to the Jews only; St. 
Mark, (under the dictation of St. Peter,) to all Chris- 
tians; St. Luke to the gentile converts; St. John, 
to certain heretics^ who denied the pre-existence and 
divinity of Christ j and that they wrote ^t very dis- 


tcint places, and at very difTcrent times, under circum- 
stances probably no less various. But, to be a little 
more particular. St. Matthew wrote at Jerusalem, to 
the Jews only; those, I mean, of the Jews, who were 
converted to Christianity. As they lived near the scene 
of action, and many of them had probably observed our 
Saviour, and heard his discourses, he omitted many 
things, as well known to them^ and mentioned others 
with a conciseness which he would not have approved, 
had he been writing \.o foreigners^ or persons totally un- 
acquainted with the subjects of his history. The other 
Evangelists very properly t^ary from him in explaining 
what he felt less distinct, in eocfiatiating where he ob- 
served a brevity, in adding what he omitted ; as was 
reasonable, since they wrote considerably after him, 
and to persons who, it must be supposed, were unac- 
quainted with the customs, the language, and even the 
country of Judea. 

If it be asked, what becomes of the inspiration of the 
Gospels, if the writers thus conducted them according 
to the Y\AQSoi human firudence? I answer, in the words 
of Dr. Townson, " The Holy Spirit sanctified their 
^' hearts with a lively and powerful sense of spiritual 
*^ things; enlightened their minds with a just knowledge 
*^ of the truth ; and endued them, with wisdom, (or 
^^ prudence^) to relate the life of Christ in a manner be- 
<* coming the subject, and suitable to their several 
" DESIGNS : and these gifts, which exalted the natural 
^' powers of their minds, without destroying them, 
**■ would produce verity 'dud pro/iriety^ h\it7iot identity 
" of relation." They reported such words and deeds, as 
fionduced to the purpose of converting or establishing 
the persons whom they immediately addressed; while 
the Spirit of God took care that the whole of their 
hi^toryy as contained in four narratives, should convey 


information sufficient, in all necessary points, not only 
for their owji age, but for all ages of Christianity. 

" They vary," says the objector, " and therefore 
" they cannot be true and faithful narrators." But in 
what do they vary ? Does one of them say that our 
Saviour rose from the dead, and the other, that he did 
not ? Do they vary in any important point of doctrine? 
No; but they vary in a few historical circumstances, 
which affect not the main purpose in the smallest 
tlegree. Their variations in non-essentials, and their 
agreement in essentials, is a mark of veracity. Their 
variations prove that they did not write in concert, or 
with a design to deceive ; for if they had, they would 
have taken care to have avoided what would expose 
them immediately to the objections of their opponents; 
and their agreement in essentials, in the grand purpose 
of shewing that Man was to be favoured with the Holy 
Spirit, is a proof that Pmvidence superintended them ; 
and « that they were so strongly convinced of this truth, 
and had it so present to their minds, that they could 
not possibly omit it, or vary in zV, however else they 
might vary. 

Theophylact says, very sensibly, *A/ oivio rcvro ^^XAof 

^<y gy rttriv itaXXocrluf, '' On this very account," says 
Theophylact, " they may be more easily believed to 
^' have spoken the truths because they do not every 
" where speak alike ; for if they had, they would have 
*' been supposed to have v/ritten in collusion; but, as 
*' the case is now, what one is sile7it v'lon^ another has 
*' written ; and, therefore^ they appear in some things to 
*' differ;" — but they differ «y toh iX6c^t(rroi?, in veyy 

* Theophylact Proam. in Matt. Emngdium* 


fn2?iutc things — as he had just before observed. Still 
keeping in mind, that Mr. Paine's chief objection is 


proceed to St. Mark. 

St. Mark's Gospel was dictated by St. Peter, who 
was acquainted with St. Matthew's. It was in many- 
things anticifiated by St. Matthew. It was published 
in Italy, perhaps at Rome, and addressed to Christians 
in general ; but particularly to the new converts, both 
pagan and Jewish. Some of them might have already- 
seen St. Matthew's Gospel, and all of them might here- 
after see it ; and therefore St. Mark is silent on many 
precepts and parables, as being already known from 
the narrative of his predecessor. In some matters, St. 
Mark explains and describes more fidly than St. Mat- 
thew, because he addressed himself in part to the Gen^ 
tiles J who could not know so well as the Jews, to whom 
alone St. Matthew wrote, what related to the Jewish 
language, customs, scriptures, or topography. When 
he repeats^ which is very often, for very good reasons, 
what St. Matthew has told, he adds some circumstance 
of explanation^ necessary to the Gentiles, that is, to 
foreigners, who were very little acquainted with either 
the country or the inhabitants of Jerusalem. It was 
necessary to repeat many facts related by St. Matthew, 
because in that age, the art of printing being unknown 
-and copies of the Gospels very difficult to be procured, 
especially by the poor, it must, in the nature of things, 
have happened frequently, that the persons for whom 
St. Mark wrote, Jews at a great distance from Judea, 
and pagans, (both newly converted^) had never had a 
sight of St. Matthew's Gospel. Very difficult must it 
Jiave been, in those days to have sent many copies from 
Jerusalem to Rome, even if many existed, and if the con* 
rerts wear Jerusalem had not demanded all that could be 

€ C 


multiplied by the slow process of the hand- writing. St. 
Mark's narrative is therefore nfearly the same as St. 
Matthew's, with the addition of such matters as might 
be nessary to the persons immediately addressed, and 
the omission of other matters which were either not 
essential, or, if they were, might be learned frpm St» 
Matthew's Gospel, already published. 

St. Mark, it has been already said, is supposed to 
have written under the entire direction, or rather the 
dictation, of St. Peter; and it is observable, that St. { 
Peter is represented as present at all the actions and 
sayings of our Lord recorded in this Gospel. And this 
circumstance will account for St.Mark's ^'silence on some 
" matters related by the other Evangelists.'* The nar- 
rative of St. Mark seems to be restricted, in great 
;rneasure, to such transactions as St. Peter was present 
at ; which, while it adds to the authenticity of the nar- 
rative, accounts for the oinission of deeds or words, at 
which St. Peter was 720^ present, and thus obviates Mr. 
Paine's objection. 

St. Luke's Gospel was designed for the Gentiles only. 
Of this there is much internal evidence. He studiously 
avoids Hebrew words, and uses, wherever it can be 
done, Greek terms, to express the ideas of the Hebrew. 
And there is one most striking particular in St. Luke, 
which arose from his addressing the Gentiles only. 
The fine parable of the prodigal, to be found in 
none other of the Gospels, was admitted by St. Luke, 
because it conveyed a doctrine highly encouraging to 
the Gentile, who was that younger son, returned at 
last, to his father, and received with affection. St. Mat- 
thew is sile7it upon this parable, because writing, as he 
did, to the Jews, he knew, especially at that earlier 
period when he wrote, that it would not be agreeable 
to their narrow prejudices, and their ideas of exclusive 


salvation, St. Mark and St. John are silent upon it, 
because it was not necessary to their purposes. 

St. Luke's genealogy of Christ differs much from St. 
Matthew's; and Mr. Paine triumphs greatly on the dif- 
ference.* But let it be duly noticed, that St. Matthew, 
writing to the Jew^s only, was contented with tracing 
the genealogy of the Messiah, for their satisfaction, up 
to David and Abraham; while St. Luke, writing to the 
Gentiles, traced it up to Adam, the father of all man- 
kind, Gentile as well as Jew; thus encouraging the 
GENtiLEs, by making it appear that they, as descend- 
ants of Adam, were also related to the Messiah, as well 
as the Jews, 

Another remarkable circumstance in St. lAike, evin- 
ces that the Evangelists adapted their narratives, as 
wisdom directed, to the particular descriptions of per-f 
sons to whom they were immediately addressed. St. 
Luke mentions the name of the Roman emperors that 
reigned when Christ was born, and when himself be- 
gan to preach. It w^as the practice of the Gentiles to 
mark the sera of events by the reigning emperor. St. 
Matthew, St. Mark, and St. John observe a silence con- 
cerning the reigning emperor. It did not appear to 
them necessary or expedient to use this mode of dating 
events, when writing to Jews, or persons acquainted 
with Judea and its history. 

Let it be attended to, that there were in circulation, 
before some of the Gospels were wTitten a great many 
narratives {^ixyncni) of our Saviour's life and death, by 
unknown authors, which being read in certain parts, 
might render it unnecessary to dwell on some particulars 
which they might have recorded with truth and accu- 
racy. It has long been my opinion, (but I offer it with 
the diffidence of one who ventures a conjecture,) that 

* See Trapp on the Qospels. 


the four Gospels which we now have, were written t(^ 
supply the defects, correct the errors, and give con- 
firmation to the truths, which appeared in these popu- 
lar narratives, at which St. Luke seems to hint in tlie 
very entrance or introduction to his Gospel. St. Luke 
speaks not, when he says, that MANr had taken in hand 
to set forth iyi order a declaration of those things which 
are most surely helitved by us, he speaks not of St. 
Mattpiew or St. Mark by name. He gives them 
Bo preference. He could not mean by many, two only. 
He probably meant the AIAFHSEIS* above-mentioned, 
which he seems to censure for inaccuracy. It would 
be highly credible, (if we had not information) that 
there were narratives handed about of merely human 
composition. Such events as had happened in Judea 
must have excited curiosity; and the pleasure of relat- 
ing extraordinary events naturally prompted men to 
gmtify it. Gospel histories, therefore, abounded. Thi: 
Gospels of t\\Q four Evangelists v/ere varied, accord- 
ing as the necessity which appeared to exist from the 
errors, the defects, or misrepresentations of the ^ictyfi- 
cgff, or narratives, which were circulated among the 
persons to whom the four Evangelists wrote, seemed 
to require. 

But to proceed to St. John. He wrote a great many 
years after St. Matthew. The history of Christ, at 

* There were many dixyvitriig (narratives) and Trx^ot^oa-u? (tra- 
ditions). But there were two very celebrated, and called Gos- 
pels ; the one according to the Hebrews ; the other, according to 
the i^gyptians. These were a collection of facts and sayings, 
collected from oral tradition. The first maintained its credit long 
after the publication of the four Evangelists, and was a favourite 
Gospel. It was read in the church during three hundred years. 
Some think, and I subscribe to their opinion, that this was the; 
original Hebrew of St. Matthew. But arguments are not want- 
ing to prove that it was another. — See this very ci\rious subject 
discussed in Millii Froleg, 


near a hundred years after his ascension, was proba- 
bly pretty well known by the Gospels, and the co?nmon 
narratives called ^iocyyia-etg and wct^oc^ocrsi?* He wrote 
chiefly to correct mistakes in doctrine; giving at the 
same time a narrative for the use of those who might 
still be uninformed in the history. He wrote against a 
heresy. He had to set men right as to the dignity of 
Christ. Therefore there are many things in this Gos* 
pie on which the others are silent; and he, on the 
other hand, is silent on many things, because repetition 
of what they had given the world would have been either 
of little use, or quite superfluous, to the persons whom 
he immediately addressed. 

By thus fairly considering the different times, places, 
persons, and other circumstances, in which the several 
Gospels were written, we shall not be at a loss to ac- 
count rationally, and to the satisfaction of every good 
MIND, for omissions, variations, and additions, in the 
evangelical histories; and the cavils of unbelievers will 
never it is to be hoped, prevail upon serious, humble 
Christians, who love truth, and seek it with simplicity 
of heart, unbiassed by politics^ or worldly motives, to 
renounce the written word, much less the spirit 
of Christianity. 

But though the written word were proved to contain 
many marks of human infirmity, lapses of memory, 
and terrors of judgment, y^i the good Christian, having 
the WITNESS IN HIMSELF, wouid go ou his way, re- 
joicing, hoping, and believing to the end. If no other 
event had been announced in the written word, than 
that (agreeably to general and uniform tradition) the 
Holy Ghost was sent to reside among men, after our 
Lord's ascension, this alone would be glad tidings, 
or an evangelium sufficient to make him exult in th^ 
uame and privileges of a Christiant If the four Gospela 
g c 2 


are imins/iired, yet the writers as good men and firm 
believers, were certainly under the ordinary influence of 
the Holy Spirit, and related the truth as exactly as 
their abilities qualified them for narration. They had 
most evidently, no intention to deceive. Impostors, 
could never have written with such simplicity. So that 
though their histories should be found not quite exempt 
from human errors, as no other history ever was ex- 
empt, yet still the main point of revelation is clear.. 
The gift of the Spirit is announced by them. It has 
in all ages of the church been experienced; and tho' 
all the books in the world were destroyed, it would re- 
main. The tradition is now too extensive to be ever 
lost. And what mortal, who, as the poet says, comes 
into the world "just to look about him and to die," will 
presume to say, that the Eternal God cannot make 
his will known to man, by constant and immediate 
revelation, without the aid of the penman or the prin- 
ter? Disputants, indeed, contending for praise and pre- 
ferment, will wrangle on this, and all other points ; but 
while they wrangle^ the humble Christian believes, and 
is happy. 

There are two particulars of variation, which Mr.. 
Paine lays great stress upon, and which, therefore, I 
shall take under cursory consideration. 

1st. " Not any of these writers," says he, " agree in 
" reciting exactly the written inscription, short as it is, 
*^ which they tell us was put over Christ when he was 
"crucified. Matthew says it was, This is Jesus^ the 
" Xing oft/ie Jews; Mark, 7716 King of the Jeivs; Luke, 
" This is the King of the Jews ^^ John, Jesus of JVazareth^ 
" the King of the Jdws,'* 

This objection has no more claim to novelty than 
importance; and I only consider it, to shew the unlearn- 
ed reader how easily it may be obviated. Let him con- 
clude, as lie may fairly do, that most of Mr. Paine's 


©bjections, however plausible, may, upon impartial ex- 
amination, be removed. 

The words on the cross were in three languages; 
Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. St. Matthew, writing to 
the Hebrews, probably selected that which was in their 
own language, in which the word Jesus signifies a 
Saviour. As this was intended to be read by the Jews, 
it might be designed, by Pilate's advisers, to heighten 
the insult and mockery, by calling Christ a Saviour, as 
Well as a king: in Hebrew, it certainly admitted of that 
interpretation, while it also stood for a proper name. 

St. Mark, writing at Rome, probably selected the 
Latin words. — Latin was Pontius Pilate's own lan- 
guage; and he, probably, as it is well known was the 
case with the Romans, prided himself in not using any- 
other language than his ov/n ; so he omits, in this in- 
scription, which being Latin, may be supposed to be of 
his own dictation, the Hebrew words Jesus and J\^aza^ 
reth^ and inserts, consistently v/ith the usual brevity of 
Latin inscriptions. Rex Judcsorum — the King of the 
Jews. — Indeed the words. This is^ were in course under- 
stood, and might be supplied by the Evangelists; but 
they were inserted by St. Matthew, and were common 
to all the inscriptions. St. Luke, like St. Mark, took 
his froin the Latin Rex Judodorum,. 

St. John's is probably from the Greek inscription, and 
he says, ^' Jesus of Nazareth, %lie King of the Jews," 
which, there is no doubt, was an exact translation of 
the Greek words* He says, addressing yb?'e/§'?zer^5 as 
the inscription itself also did, " Jesus of JVazareth.'* 
The word Jesus would not convey the idea of a Saviour 
to the Greeks; it was to them only a proper name, 
therefore he adds the JVazarene^ or '' of Nazareth," as a. 
matter of historical inform.ation. The Jews knew the 
native place of Jesus but the Greeks did not, as Naza- 
i^eth was an inconsiderable, town* This addition might 


be Intended as a mark of contempt, and to shew the 
Greeks or foreigners in ^^eneral, that the Jews disdain- 
ed a king who originated from so paltry a place as Na- 
zareth. Nathaniel's question in St. John is, " Can any 
" good thing come out of Nazareth?" Thus it appears, 
that the inscription being in three different languages^ 
might, for very good reasons, in the opinion of those 
who placed it over the cross, have some variations 
adapted to the various readers, and consistent with the 
views of the various writers. 

Mr. Paine adds, that " Mark says Christ was cruci- 
" fied at the third hour — nine in the morning ; and John 
" says, it was the sixth hour — twelve at noon." Here 
a note is added in the margin ; " According to St* John, 
" sentence was not passed till the sixth hour, (noon,) 
" and consequently the execution could not be till, the 
**' afternoon ; but Mark says expressly, he was crucified 
" at the third hour — nine in the morning. 

Here certainly is a difficulty ; but the learned have 
informed us that St. John parted the days as we do, at 
midnight*, contrary both to the Roman and Jewish 
custom ; the sixth hour, therefore, is not noon,, but six 
o'clock in the morning, when sentence was passed ; and 
various circumstances might take place, added to the 
slowness of the procession, to retard the execution till 
nine, the very time fixed by St. Mark. St. John's 
method of dividing th« day was not Jewish or Roman, 
as it has been said, but Asiatic. St. John either 
learned or taught this method in Asia Minor, where 
were seven churches, which differed from others in the 
time of keeping Easier; and affirmed, that they fol- 
lowed, in this variation of times and seasons, the insti- 
tution of St. John ; a circumstance which is very matg-^ 

* According to the Koucktbaneron.,. 


rial, as it shews that St. John had turned his attention 
to the rcf^ulation of time. 

Dr. Townson, to whom every student of the liti/r al 
Gospel is much indebted, advances other arr^'umcnts ou 
this head, for which I refer to his Discourses. 

It is inconsistent with .my ideas of propriety to quote 
many of Mr. Paine's objections*; and indeed my limits 
will not admit a full examination of his book, if I were 
inclined to go through it, or, on the present occasion, 
thought it necessary. 

In answer to wdiat Mr. Paine has said against that 
part of the evangelical history which relates to the inter^ 
?nsnty 7'esicrreclion^ and ascension of our Saviour, I refer 
the reader to another volume of Dr. Townson's, ex- 
pressly written on these subjects, if any one thinks it 
necessary to re-consider them, on account of Mn 
Paine's objections. My opinion is, that they who have 
the witnefis of the Spirit^ will not be at all concerned 
about Mr. Paine's cavils, except from the benevolent 
motive of endeavouring to prevent their ill effect on the 
thoughtless and malignant part of mankind, who may 
be confirmed in their neglect or hatred of Christianity 
by his virulent invective against it. 

Those who believe, not only with an historical faith, 
but with the faith that God giveth; not only in the 
letter, written on perishable materials, but also, in the 
Spirit, the everlasting Gospel of immediate grace, will 
not be in the least danger of wavering, even if the 
infidels could prove that the scriptures are merely 
human narratives, with the errors of humanity. 

It is presumptuously said by Ilosius, bishop of War- 
mia in Poland, " We have now bid adieu to the scrip-. 
" tures, having seen so many, not only different, but 

* I would not cull the flowers of those w^eeds, whose roots I 
wish to destroy. 


" contrary interpretations of them. Let us rather hear 
" God himself speak, than apply ourselves, or trust our 
" salvation, to those jejune elements. There is no 
" need," he proceeds, '^ of being skilful in the law and 
" the scriptures, but of being taught of God. That 
" labour is ill employed," says the prelate, " that is 
^' bestowed on the scriptures; for the scripture is a 
" creature, and a beggarly element." Far be it from us 
to think so. Christ commanded his immediate hcarera 
to search the scriptures; and St. Paul says, " they are 
*^ profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for 
*' instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may 
" be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works;'' 
that is, they are projitable^ or conducive to the improve- 
ment of us in morality, as well as in the true doctrine. 
But although we cannot say what Hosius erroneously 
said; yet we may say, because the scripture says it, 
^^ God's grace is sufficient for us" — bis grace mediately 
afforded by his word, and imviediatcly by his actual in- 
fluence; and having the teaching of God, we shall 
not renounce our faith, though the Chubbs and the 
Paines should find matter for censure or ridicule in all 
the written books, from Genesis to the Apocalypse. 
Faith, we read and know, is the gift of God; and he 
it is who worketh in us both to will and to do of his good 

" The word," says Dr. Ridley, " has not power of 
'^ itself to work, in our understandings, a faith in 
" God, nor to influence the v\^ill to a repentance from 
'' dead rjorks, without the Holy Ghost." 
• But he in whom the Holy Ghost has worked a faith 
in God, and whose will the Holy Ghost has influenced 
to repentance from dead works, may stand fast in the 
faith, rooted and established, in defiance of all that has 
been said by men engrossed by this world, and possess- 
ing its wisdom; men who have arisen hi ahnost every 


age, and confirmed the Christian doctrine, by promoting 
its discussion, and awakening Christians from the slum- 
ber of security. 

" When," says Dr. Watts, " we are attacked with 
" argument to bailie our faith, and when false doctrines 
" blow strong, and carry away many, how shall we be 
" able to stand our ground, and hold fast our faith in 
^^ Chri^st, if we have not the inward witness^ the begin- 
" NiNG OF ETERNAL LIFE? Therefore it is that SO many 
" Christians waver and are led away, because they feel 
" so little of the efficacy of the Holy Ghost in their 
" hearts. 

If this then be the cause of wavering and falling away 
from Christ, I hope the believers in Christianity, and 
lovers of their fellow-creatures, will second, by their own 
endeavours, this attempt of mine, to promote the pre- 
valence of a beHef in the energy of the Holy Ghost. 
The attempt is exposed to calumny and violent opposi- 
tion. But every thing is to be borne with patience, in 
the cause of God and 

Mn Paine professes to be a believer in God, and ^ 
friend to man. It is, indeed, astonishing, that an advo- 
cate for the Hghts of man should set his face against the 
Gospel of Jesus Christ ; for it is certain that the Gospel 
is the book, of all that were ever written, that favours 
most the rights of man, and the cause of equal liberty. 
Jesus Christ abolished slavery in Europe. Jesus Christ 
has humbled the rich and mighty. Jesus Christ has 
given a consequence to the poor*, which they never 

* The New Testament abounds with passages, expressive of 
indi^iation against those among rich men, who abuse wealth and 
po\!7er, for the purposes of oppression, cruelty, and despotism. 
As a specimen, I quote the following from the Epistle of St. 

" Go to, now, ye rich men; weep and howl for your uiiscric* 
y that shall come upon you. 

' ol2 APPENDIX* 

possessed amid the boasted freedom of Greece and 
Rome. Jesus Christ has done more to destroy the 
insolent distinctions which arose from the spirit of 
tyranny, than was ever done before or after him ; and 
Jesus Christ suffered death for this benefaction to all 
mankind, as a seditious innovator, and an enemy to 
Caesar. Jesus Christ is therefore entitled to the grati- 
tude of every friend to truth, justice, and humanity, 
even if he were no more than a man, and his religion 
untrue. What have Sydney, Hampden, Locke, done 
or said, with such effect, in the cause of liberty, and in 
favour of the mass of mankind, as Jesus Christ? Let 
then all the friends of liberty and man be lovers of Jesus 
Christ; and let not their zeal for reforming the corrup* 
tions of Christianity, caused by statesmen, wishing to 
render it subservient to political views, lead them to 
renounce the comfortable, liberal, equalizing doctrines 
of the genuine Gospel. 

The Gospel recommends peace, and infallibly pro- 
duces, by the Spirit's benign influence, such dispositions 
of mind, as must of necessity, if they were to prevail 
among the rulers of the world, put an end to all offen- 
sive war. It has not yet done so, for it has not yet 
sufficiently prevailed among the rulers of the world. But 
it has certainly softened the rigours of war; a favourable 
presage of its future efficacy, in totally abolishing it. 

<< Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 

*< Your gold and silver is cankered, and the rust of them shall 
<* be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire : 
<< ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 

*< Behold the hire of the laborers which have reaped 
<< DOWN your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, 
<< crieth; and the cries of them that have reaped are entered 
<* into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 

*' Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye 
« have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter : • 

»< Ye have condemned and billed the just." James, v. 1 — 6. 


I wish Mr. Paine, as a politician and a philanthro- 
pist, if he be such, not to oppugn the great promoter 
of PEACE and liberty. As a fellow man, (I wish I 
could add, a fellow Christian,) I warn him from the 
kindest motives, to beware lest he be guilty of bias* 
phemy against the Holy Ghost. 

Mr. Paine himself says, " The great trait in the cha* 
" racier of Jesus Christ is PHiLANfHROPr.'' Why should 
Mr. Paine, then, oppose the prevalence of his benign 
doctrines ? Christianity is a friend to order^ but an enemy 
to despotism of every kind and degree. Why should 
Mr. Paine, then, join with the wicked despots of the 
earth, in the endeavour to exterminate Christianity? 
The late King of Prussia, the greatest despot and 
butcher of mankind, was the prince of the unbelieversm 
He made infidelity a fashion in France ; and behold the 
consequences! May they never extend to this country; 
where, God grant that liberty may continue unim- 
paired by despotism or licentiousness j and religion 
flourish, uncorrupted by hypocrisy or superstition, and 
unshaken by the assaults of infidelity. 

No. II. 

k5lNCE, in conformity to the Scriptures, I have 
recommended prayer* as one of the best modes of 
obtaining the evidence^ and experiencing the excellence 
of the Christian religion, I think it expedient to add 


Jam. V. 16. 
This is translated, *' The effectual fervent prayer of the rightc- 
<' ous man availeth much," which is tautology — for an effectual 
prayer, of course, availeth. It should be translated, " The prayer 
*' of a righteous or just man, being energize;.© by the inward 
*' operation of the Spirit, availeth much.'* 



some directions to facilitate the proper performance of 
this duty; and, for the sake of authority, I have 
selected them from Bishop Wilkin s, the first divine 
and philosopher of his age. 

" The first and chief matter to be prayed for, is the 
*^ sanctification of our natures— that God's kingdom may 
*< come into our hearts — that he vi^ould give unto us a 
" hearty and fiut a new Spirit within us — that he would 
^' take from us our stony heart, and bestowed upon us 
" hearts of flesh — that he would put within us the law 
" of the spirit of life, which may make us free from the 
*^ law of sin and death — ^that we may put on the new 
^* man, which, after God, is created in righteousness 
" and true holiness — that we may be regenerate, and 
" become new creatures, being borne again of that in- 
" corruptible seed, the word of God. 

" That God would grant us, according to the riches 
" of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his 
*^ Spirit in the inward man. 

" That he would establish our hearts unblameable in 
" holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming 
<' of the Lord Jesus Christ, with all his saints. 

" That the Spirit of Christ may dwell in us — that we 
" may continue in the grace of God, and in the faith, 
" grounded and settled, and may not be moved away 
" from the hope of the Gospel. 

" Of this kind is the petition of David for himself— 
^' Create in me a clean hearty JLord^ and renew a right 
<' sJiiHt within me* And the Apostle for others — The 
" God of peace sanctify you throughout, that your 
*' whole spirit, and soul, and body may be preserved 
" blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

" Ezekiel, xxxvi. 26. Rom. viii. 7. Eph. iv. 24. 1 Pet. i. 23. 
** Eph. iii. 16. 1 Thess. iii. 13. Rom. viii. 11. Acts, xiii. 43. 
«* Col. i. 13. Psal. li. 10. 1 Thess. v. 23. 

APPENDIX. 3 1 5 

" That we may be transformed by the renewing of our 
*< minds — that we may be able to have a spiritual dis- 
<< cerning of the things of God; being wise to that which 
" is good, but simple and harmless to that which is evih 

" That he would purge our consciences from dead 
" WORKS, to serve the living God. 

" That they may be tender of his glory, and, our 
" own good; truly performing the offices which belong 
" unto them, both in accusing and excusing us, accorci- 
" ing to the several occasions. 

" That he would circumcise our hearts^ that we may 
" set our affections on things above^ and not on earthly 
^\ matters — that we may not be deceived with false 
<^ appearances, but may ajilirove the things that arc 
'' most excellent. 

" That he Would reform and sanctify our ^ivills^ that 
<' we may in everything submit them unto his; delight- 
<^ ing to do his tvill; not seeking our own will^ but the will 
^^ of him that sent us. 

" That he would rectify our memories^ making them 
" more faithful in retaining all such holy lessons as we, 
*' shall learn, in recalling them to mind, according to 
<^ opportunities; that we may be always ready to stir 
^^ ufi our minds by ivay of remembrance^ that we may 
^' nevQr forget God. 

" And so (for our parts, or outward man,) that we 
'' may become the temple of God %vhere his Sfiirit may 
" dwell: that we may present our bodies a living sacri- 
" fice, holy^ acceptable to God^ which is our reasonable 
" service: that all our parts and members may be instru^ 
^^ ments of righteousness unto holiness. 

*' Rom. xii. 2. 1 Cor. ii. iv. Rom. xvi. 19. Heb. ix. 14. 

«' Rom. ii. 29. Col. iii. 2. Phil. i. 10. Ps. xl. 8. Joh. v. oQ. 

♦' 2 Pet. iii. 1. Deut. viii. 11. 1 Cor. iii. 16. Rom. xii. 1. 
'* lb. vii. 13—19. lb. vii. 18. 

316 mppEi^Dix, 

*^ In which desires we may strengthen our faith with 
*' such arguments as these : 

*' God only is able for this great work : in us dnvelleth 
*' nothing that is good* It is he that must ivork in us 
<* both to will and to do of his good pleasure. It is not in 
*' our power to regenerate ourselves ; for ive are not born 
" of bloody nor of the will of the fleshy nor of the will of 
^ man; (that is, of natural created strength,) iz^^ c/' Go r/. 
^' And he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all 
^ that we can ask or think. It is as easy for him to 
** make us good, as to bid us be so. 

*' He is ivilling^ and hath promised to give unto us a 
*' new Spirit: to put his law into our inward parts ^ to 
'^ write it in our Itearts, And if tnen that are evil know 
^' hotv to give good gifts to their children^ hovj much more 
^^ shall our Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them 
<' that ask him? He hath professed it to be his own will, 
*' even our sane tif cation-, and he cannot deny us the per- 
" formance of his own will- He hath promised, that 
'' those who hunger and thirst after righteousness^ shall 
*' be filled. And therefore, if he has in any measure 
" given us this hunger, we need not doubt that he will 
" give us this fulness likewise. He hath said that he 
" delights to dwell vjith the sons of men. And what rea- 
^' son have we to doubt the success of our desires, when 
" we beg of him to do that which he delights in t 

" The next thing to be prayed for, is the obedience 
" of our lives, answerable to that in the Lord's Prayer — 
" thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. And 
" here, likewise, we are to petition for spiritual grace, 
" and abilities, both to perform^ and to cojitinucy and to 
<' increase in all holy duties. 

*' Phil. ii. 13, John. i. 13. Eph. iii. 20. Ezek. xxxvi, 26. 
•« Jen xxxi. 33. Luke, xi. 13. The§. iv, 3. Mat, v, 6. 
•* ProV| viii, 31. Peal, xxiii. 3. 


" For the fierformance of them. That he would lead 
^ us into the Jiaths of righteousness — that with simjilicity 
^ and Godly sincerity we may have our conversation in 
this world — that denying all ungodliness and worldly 
lusts, we may live soberly, righteously, and godly, in thiz 
present ^yor/fl^— that God would give us grace, whereby 
we may serve him acceptably with reverence and godly 
fear — that we may not any more be conformed unto this 
world — that being dead unto sin, we may live unto righte* 
ousness : not any longer spending the rest of our time in 
the flesh, to the lusts of men, but to the will of God — that 
the time past of our lives may suffice to have served divers 
lusts — that for the future we may walk as obedient chil- 
dren, not fashioning ourselves according to the former 
lusts of our ignorance ; but as he who has called us is holy^ 
so we may be holy in all manner of conversation. 
" To this purpose is that desire of David, that my 
ways were directed to keep thy statutes ! And in another 
place, Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God: let 
thy good Spirit lead me into the land of uprightness* 
Elsewhere — Shew me thy ways, O Lord, and teach me 
thy paths: lead me into thy truth, and teach vie ; for thou 
art the God of my Salvation, Teach me thy ways, O 
Lord, and I will walk in thy truth; unite my heart to 
fear thy name. 
*' For our continuance in them — That we may serve 
him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before 
him, all the days of our lives: being stedfast and UU" 
moveable, ahvays abounding in the work of the Lord-^ 
Holding faith and a good conscience — Patiently continu-^ 
ing in well doing, vdthout weariness, as knowing that in 
due time we shall reap, if we faint not — Holding fast 

*' 2 Cor, i. 12. Tit. ii. 12. Heb. xii. 28. Rom. xii. 2. 
1 Pet. ii. 21. lb. iv. 2, 3. lb. i. 14. Psal. cxix. 5. 

lb. cxliii. 10. lb. xxv. 4, 5. lb. Ixxxvi. 11. Luke, i. 74, 75. 
1 Cor. m. 18. 

D d 2 

318 ' APPENDIX. 

^^ the firofession of our faith^ ivithout wavering — that our 
^' hearts may be established with grace ; that amidst all 
" our outward changes and losses, we may still hold fast 
" our integrity. 

" Thus the Apostle prays for the Thessalonians^ that 
^' God would establish them in every good word and work, 
" For our increase in them— That God would make 
" all grace to abound towards 2^5— that we always having 
^^ all-sufficiency to all things^ may abound to every good 
** work — that w^e may be strong in the Lord^ and in the 
" flower of his might: h^m^ filled with the fruits of right e- 
" outness, unto the glory and firaise of God — thatybr^e-^- 
" ting those things which are behind^ and reaching unto 
*' those things which are before^ we may continually firess 
'^ towards the mark for the firize of the high calling of God. 
" Thus doth the Apostle pray for the Hebrews — The 
*' God of peace make you perfect in every good work^ to 
*' do his will^ working in you that which is well-pleasing 
" in his sight. — And Epaphras^ for the Colossians — 
" That they might stand perfect and complete in all 
" the will of God. 

" Next to the precepts of the law, we are to consider 
" the duties which the Gospel requires of us, namely that 
" we should repent and believe — that we should becaretul 
" to perform^ to continue^ and increase in all those par- 
^^ ticular duties and graces which are comprehended 
" under those two general heads. 

" So that from hence we are directed to pray, 
« For repentance — That since God hath, in love to our 
<< SQuls^ vouchsafed unto us, in his Gospel, this privilege 
•' of repentance^ Avhich the covenant of works did not 

«* 1 Tim. i. 19. Rom. ii. 7. Gal. vi. 9. Heb. x. 23. 
" lb. xiii. 9. Job, ii. 3. 1 Thes. ii. 17. 2 Cor. ix. 8. 1 Thes. 
'« iv. 1. Eph, vi. 10. Phil. i. 11. lb. iii. 14. Heb. xiii 20, 21, 
«« Col. iv. 12. Acts, xi. 18. Psal. Ii. 17. 2 Cor. vii. 10. 

jiJPPENDTX* 319 

" admit of, that he would also give us hearts for it, 
" granting us refientance unto Z//^'— that he would con- 
" vince us of the danger, and folly, and pollution of 
" our sins, enabling us to mourn over them ; bestowing 
" upon us broken and contrite spirits — dissolving our 
" stony hearts into that goly sorrow^ which worketh re- 
'^ pentance to salvation not to be repented of- — That we 
" may search and try our ways, and turn unto the Lord— 
" Bringiiig forth findts meet for repentance — Labouring 
" to draw nigh unto Gody by cleansing our hands^ a7id p'^^ 
^' fying our hearts. 

" Yov faith — That God would discover to us the great 
" need of a Saviour; and since he hath set forth Az* Son 
" to be a propitiation through faith in his bloody and hath 
" made him the author of eternal salvation to all that obey 
" him^ that he would win over our souls to an earnest 
" endeavour of acquaintance with him, and high esteem 
" of him. 

" That God, who commandeth the light to shine out 
^' of darkness^ would shine into our hearts^ to give 
" us the light of the knowledge of the glory of Gody 
*' in the face of Jesus Christ — that he would make us 
" more especially inquisitive after the saving experi- 
" mental knowledge of him, in whom are laid up the 
" ti-easures of wisdo?n arid knowledge ; whom to know is 
" wisdom, and eternal life- 

" That he would count us worthy of his holy callingy 
" and fulfil in us all the good pleasure of his goodness^ and 
" the work of faith with power — that the name of the Lord 
" Jesus Christ may be glorified in us^ and we in hinu 

" That Christ may dtvell in our hearts by faith^ that wc 
<' may be rooted and grounded in love ; may be able to com- 
^' prehend with all saints what is the breadth^ and leng'hy 
" and depthy and height^ and know the love of Christy which 

"^ Lr.m. iii. 40. Mat. iii. 8. James, iv. 8. Rom. iii. 25, 
«« Heb. v. 9. 2 Cor. iy. 6. Col. ji. 3. 2 Thes. i. 11, 12, 


" passe th knowledge^ that %ve may bejilled with all thefuU 
'' 71CSS of God. 

" That we may truly value the exceeding riches of his 
'^ grace^ in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus—^ 
'^ Glorying in his Gospel, as being the power of God to 
*' salvation — counting all things but loss and dung for the 
" excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus^ that we may 
" win him^ and be found in him. ; not having our own righte* 
^' ousness^ which is of the lawy but that which is through the 
^^ faith cf Christ. 

" That in all estates and conditions, we may learn to 
" live by faith. 

" In regard of our temporal life, with all the various 
*^ circumstances of it, whether prosperity^ that by his 
" grace of faith, we may keep our hearts in an holy 
" frame of humility, meekness, disengagement from 
" the world, and all outward confidences ; or adversity y 
" wherein this grace may serve to sweeten our afflic- 
*' tions, to support us under them, teaching us to profit 
" by them, to bear them meekly, to triumph over them ; 
" assuring the heart, that nothing is but by the disposal 
" of God's providence, who is infinitely wise, and mer- 
^Vciful, and faithful. 

^' In regard of spiritual life, both for our ov/n justifi* 
" cation^ that we may not expect it from our own ser- 
^' vices or graces; not having our own righteousness^ but 
" that tvhich is through the fai'h of Christy the righteous- 
^' ness which is of God by faith. And so for the life of 
^' sanctification; that we 7nay not live unto ourselves^ but 
'< unto him %vho died for us^ and rose again — that our con^ 
^^ versation may be as becometh the Gospel of Christy stand* 
'' ingfast in one spirit^ with one Tniiid^ striving tcgcihcr for 
'' the faith of the Gosfiel. Always remembering that we 
*^ are not our own, but bought %vith a firice^ and therefore 

M Eph. iii. 17. lb- ii. 7. Rom. i. 16. Phil. iii. 8. lb. iii. 9. 
<*2Cor. V. 15. Phil. i. 27. 

" should make it our business to glorify Christ wii/i our 
" bodies and Spirits^ ivhich are his, 

'' That he would work in us a lively faith^ as may 
" make us rich in good works, that we may demean our- 
" selves as becomes our fir of essed subjection to the Gosfiel 
" of Christ ; %valking ivorthy of that vocation whereivith we 
*^ are called^ as becomes children of light — Being holy in 
" all manlier of conversation — putting on the Lord Jesu9 
*'* Christ ; exercising ourselves unto godliness — Walking 
" uprightly, according to the truth of the Gospel^ diligently 
^^ following every good work — Shewing, out of « goodcon^ 
'• versation^ our works^ with meekness and wisdom — That 
'* we may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all 
'^ things — Considering that we are created in Christ Jesus' 
^' unto good works ^ thai we should walk in them — Having 
" our conversatio7i in Heaven ; walking worthy of the Lord^ 
'' unto all pleasing^ being fruitful in all good works. That 
''• every one of us who professeth the name of Christy may 
" depart from iniquity — Because for this reason was the 
" Gospel preached to those that are dead in sin^ that theij 
" 7nay live according to God in Spirit, 

" That we may give all diligence, to add to our faith, 
" virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, 
" temperance ; and to temperance, patience ; and to 
" patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kind- 
" ness ; and to brotherly kindness, charity ; that these 
" things being in us, and abounding, we may not be bar- 
" ren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus 
" Christ, but may hereby clear up unto ourselves the 
'' evidence of our calling and election. 

^' That we may deny all imgodli?iess and worldly lustSj 
^' living soberly^ righteously^ a7id godly^ in this present 

" 1 Cor. vi. 20. James, ii. 20. 2 Cor. ix. 13. Eph. iv. 2. 
" lb. V. 8. Rom. xiii. 14. 1 Tim. iv. 7. Gal. ii. 14. 1 Tim. 
** V. 10. James, iii. 13. Tit. ii. 10. Eph. ii. 10. Phil. iii. ^0, 
<« Gal. i. 10. 2 Tim, Uli. 19. 


" worlds looking for that blessed hojie^ and that glorious 
" afifiearing of the great God^ and our Saviour Jesus 
^' Christy who gave himself for us^ that he might redeem us 
" from all iniquity^ andjiurify unto himself a fieculiar j}eo^ 
" ///e, zealous of good works — considering that he shall be 
*' revealed from Heaven with his mighty angels^ in faming 
"^re, to take vengeance on those who obey not his Gospely 
" who shall be punished with everlasting destructions from 
" the presence of the Lord^ and from the glory of his power ^ 
" when he shall come to be glorified in his saints^ and to 
" be admired of all them that believe i?i that day-— For if 
" he that despised Moses's law^ died without mercy ^ under 
" two or three witnesses^ of how much sorer punishment 
" shall he be thought worthy^ who hath trodden under foot 
^' the Son of God^ and hath counted the blood of the cove^ 
" nant an unholy thing ; and hath done despite to the Spirit 
" ^f grace ^ who hath called us into his eternal glory by 
" Christ Jesus^ would make us perfect^ establish^ strength" 
^^ en^ settle us — That we may continue in thefaith^ groimd^ 
" ed and settled^ and not be moved atvayfrom the hope of the 
" Gospel^ being rooted and built up^ and established in the 
^^ faith — laying aside every tveight^ and the sin that does so 
" easily beset us : and running with patience^ the race that 
" is set before us — IIoldi?ig fast our profession^ without 
'' wavering ; that we may abide in Christ .^ and his words 
" may abide in us — Continuing in the things which we 
^' have leajvied — Bei?ig faithful unto the death^ that he 
<' may bestow upon us a crown of life. 

" That the word of Christ may dwell in us richly^ in all 
^' wisdom — 4hat we may grow in grace^ and in the know* 
" ledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ — Being* ^Z- 
*' led with the fruits of righteousness^ which are by Jesus 

*< 1 Pet. iv. 8, 2 Pet. i. 5—8. Tit. ii. 12, 13. 2 Thess. i. 7. 
" Heb, X. 28. 1 Pet. vi 10. Col. i. 23. lb. ii. 7. Heb. x. 1, 2. 
** lb. X. 23. John, xv, 7. 2 Tim. iii. l^fH 


^^ Christ; unto the glory and praise of God — That we may 
^' be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 

" TWai having fought a goodfght^and finished our course^ 
*' and kept thefaith^ ive may receive the crown ofrighte- 
<' ousness, whichy at the last day^ the Lordj the righteous 
" JudgCy tuill bestow ufion all those that love his apfiearing--^ 
" That he would carry us^ through faith^ unto salvation. 

" And because, when we have reckoned all the duties 
" we can, we shall leave out many particulars, therefore, 
" for the supply of those which we cannot specify, we 
" may use some general form answerable to that exhorta- 
^ tion of the Apostle-^-That whatsoever things are true, 
" whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are 
^' just, whatsoever things are pure ^ whatsoever things are 
" lovely <f whatsoever things are of good report^ if there be 
^' any virtue ^ and if there be any praise ^ that we may think 
*< of and do these things, 

" Being blameless and harmless^ the sons of Gody with^ 
^' out rebuke^ in the midst of a crooked and perverse nationy 
" among whom we may shine as lights in the world*** 

No. III. 

jL he neglect of psalmody, in the congrega- 
tions at large, has contributed very much to damp the 
ardour of devotion, and, consequently, to cause an m- 
differcnce to the Christian religion. Less of instrumen- 
tal, and more of vocal music, (in which all the people 
should unite with heart and voice,) would conduce great- 
ly to the revival of decayed piety. It would render our 

*' Rev. ii. 10. Col. iii. 16. 2 Pet. iii. 18. Phil. i. 11. 

<* 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8. Phil. iv. 8. lb. ii. 15. 

$24f . APPENDIX. 

religious assemblies interesting where they are ftow 
cold, and merely formal. 

Psalmody, it is well known, is confined, in the greater 
part of country churches, to a few, and is become a 
matter of mere amusement, both to the hearers and 
'performers. To many, it is tedious and disgustful. 

The whole congregation, v/omen and children, as 
well as men, should sing simple tunes, such as are 
easily learned, and, at the same time, deeply affect the 
the heart, while they please the ear. Th^ instrument 
should not be so loud as to drown the voices. An 
organ, under the h^nds of an ambitious player, usu- 
ally overcomes the melody of the voice, and grates dis- 
cord on the ear of piety. 

When all join, to the best of their power, in singing 
well-composed hymns, all must be affected; and psal- 
-inody will, like prayer, become a powerful means of 
grace. As it is now conducted, religion seems to have 
little or no concern with it. Some of the congregation 
sit with indifference or impatience; others divert them- 
selves, as well as they can, with observing the grimaces 
of the singers ; while one or two, amateurs and practi- 
tioners of music, lend an ear, as critics on the skill of 
the performers. 

The soft and sweet melody, in some of the places of 
religious worship frequented by various dissenting con- 
gregations in London, is highly delightful to an uncor- 
rupted ear, while it warms the heart with devotion, 
meliorates the disposition, and leaves the hearer full of 
pious sentiments to God, and charitable affections to 
man. As far as I am able to judge, psalmody requires 
immediate reformation. 

The Apostles says, " Let the w^ord of Christ dwell in 
" you richly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing* 

* Col. ill 16. 


^^ one another in psalms, and hymns, and sfiiritual songs, 
« ringing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." 

Is this addressed only to ten or twelve persons in 
every congregation? Certainly it is addressed to all 
Christians ; and there is no doubt but that Christianity 
would flourish more, if due attention were paid to psal- 
mody. Many who are separated from the established 
church, are influenced, in their separation, by the effica- 
cious method of deriving grace into their hearts, which 
they experience in their own assembUes, by the pleas- 
ing, melting strains of holy harmony. 

No. IV. 

x\ SHORT list of books, recommended to the 
choice of persons who are not professional students" in 
divinity, but who, occupied in worldly business, read, 
in the intervals, for the sake of improvement in piety 
and morality. It is not expected that such persons 
should procure all which are here mentioned, but select 
those which they may best approve, or most conveni- 
ently obtain. Doubtless there are many more which 
might be recommended; but, considering for whom the 
hooks are designed, I am unwilhng to enlarge the col- 
lection beyond reasonable limits. I have arranged them 

Barrow's Works. 
Beveridge's Private Thoughts. 
Baxter's Works. 
Butler's Analogy. 
Collyer's Sacred Interpreter. 
Doddridge's Rise and Progress. 

— Family Expositor. 

— Lectures. 

Derham's Physico-Theology. 
Edward's (John, of Cambridge) 

Earle on the Sacrament. 
Gastrell's Institutes. 
Certainty and Neces- 
sity of Religion in general. 
- Certainty of the Chris- 

E e 

tian Revelation. 

Gibson's Family Devotions. 

Grey's Key to the Old Testa- 

Hammond's practical Catechism 

Hale's Contemplations. 



Home's Commentary on the 

Kettlewell's Works. 

Kenn's Manual for Winchester 

Lowth's Directions for reading 
the Scriptures. 

Lucas's Enquiry after Happi- 

Nelson's Works. 

Norris's Works. 

Owen's (Dr. John) Works. 

Ostervald's Corruptions of 

Patrick's Works, 

Felling's Works. 

Scott's Christian Life. 

Stanhope's Thomas a Kempis. 

Smith's (John) Select Dis- 

Spinckes's Devotions. 

Taylor's (Bishop) Works. 

Trapp's Discourses on the 

Watts's Works. 

Wilson's (Bishop) Works. 

Waterland's Works — if any 
choose to enter into learned 
disquisitions on points of 
controverted doctrine. 

No- V- 

JL DO not advise the true Christian to enlist him- 
self under any of the celebrated system-makers. Such 
attachments only tend to make parties in religion, and 
to destroy charity. The church of England is said to 
be Calvinistical in its Articles, while the majority of its 
ministers are Armenians. 

Dr. Morley, afterwards Bishop of Winchester, being 
asked what the Arminians held^ pleasantly answered— 
that they held — all the best bishoprics and deaneries in 

The true follower of Jesus Christ will seek no other 
appellation than that of Christian. He will select the 
true doctrine, wherever he can find it, but be bigotted 
to no NAME under Heaven. 

" Doctrina Christi^** says Erasmus, '^ quae firius nescie* 
" bat A or OM AX I AN ccepit a philosophic studiis pendere : 
^' hie erat primus gradiis ecclesice ad deteiioraprolabentis.* 
The doctrine of Christ, which at first knew nothing of 
verbal disputes^ began to depend on philosophical studies ; 


this was the first step which the church made in its pro- 
gressive descent to a state of degeneracy. 

On observing the various, and even contradictory 
tenets of the system- writers and their followers, one is 
tempted to exclaim with the poet, 

O Ceelta de la terrene menti^ 

In qual profonda notte^ 

In qualfosca caligine d'errore 

Son le nostr^ alme immerse 

^ando tu non le illustrij O sommo sole. 

A che del saper vostro 

Insuperbitey O miseri mortali? 

fiesta parte dl not, che ^ntende, e vede, 

None noatra virtu, ma vien dal cielo. 

Pastor Fido, Act v. Sc. 6. 








'< This kind of Philosophy is founded on the feelings of the 
« heart rather than on syllogisms; it consists in the actual con- 
« duct of life, rather than in disputatious theories ; it is inspiration 
<* more than erudition; it is the result of a total change pro- 
<< duced in the mind supernaturally, rather than of a man^s unas- 
*< sisted reason." Erasmus. 

*< Only be teachable; and you will have made a great profi- 
«< ciency in this Philosophy. It supplies its own instructor, 
" even the Spirit, who imparts himself to none more readily 
*' than to men of simple and artless minds. On the other hand, 
<' while it condescends to the wants of the lowest among mankind, 
** it is an object of admiration to the highest. And what else is 
•* the Christian Philosophy, (which Christ himself calls the Nevi 
«« Birth,) but the renewal of that na'cure in us, which was origi- 
<* nally well constituted by its Author?" Erasmus. 

** The life-giving Spirit." 1 Cor. xv. 45. 

Page 13. 


It is my object to inquire what is true ; but not to acquiesce 
merely in the discovery of speculative truth ; but to find out that 
doctrine, which, together v/ith truth, unites Pious affections 
to God. Sapolet. 

Page 24. 
motto to section II. 
In what consists a faithful belief in Christ ? It consists in a 
faithful obedience to his commandments. 

Salvian. de Gub. lib. 3. 
E e 2 

350 fRAKSLAflOKS* 

Page 36. 
Mediately by the Word ; immediately by the Spirit. 

Page 85. 
Neither let them ostentatiously put themselves off as philoso" 
phersf but labour to become men taught of God, 

Greg. ix. Ep. ad Univ. Paris. 

Page Sr. 

Here, brethren, you see a great and holy mystery. Instruction 
from externals are great assistances, and afford much useful ad- 
monition ; but he, who teacheth the heart, hath his seat, from 
which he gives his lessons, in heaven. August. Tr. 3. in 1 Joan. 

Page 104. 

Learned I deem all those who have believed the Gospel. For 
why should they be called unlearned who (supposing they have 
learned nothing else) have learned from the Apostles* creed that 
ultramundane Philosophy ^ which neither a Pythagoras nor a Plato, 
but the Son of God himself^ delivered to mankind ; who have 
learned from Christ the end they should pursue and the way to 
pursue it ? Wherever true Holiness exists, there also exists great 
Philosophy, and no common kind and degree of erudition. But 
yet among persons thus excellently learned, those are pre-eminent, 
to whom it is given by the Spirit's bountiful mercy, to instruct 
many in the ways of righteousness ; on whom God has bestowed 
lipSy not adorned with the meretricious arts of heathen eloquence, 
but richly furnished, by the unction of the Spirit, with heavenly 
Grace. Erasmus, Eccles. 

Page 113. 

If a preceptor, a mere man, hesitates to give merely human 
instruction; for instance, lectures on Logic or Arithmetic, to a 
pupil who is drowsy, who yawns, or who is sick with the intem- 
perance of yesterday ; how much more will the heavenly Wisdom 
disdain to speak with those who are drunk with the pleasures of 
the world, and who, from a total neglect of heavenly things, 
sicken at the mention of them ? Erasmus. 

These let him learn before the fumes of indigestion cloud over 
the faculties. ' Hor, 


Pages 114, 115. 
The season of Grace is, when God sends you some humiliating 
affliction, which withdraws you from the world, because } ou can 
no longer appear in it with honour. It is some disgrace thrown 
upon you by a master, to whom a base obsequiousness led you, in 
a thousand struggles, to sacrifice the interests of your conscience. 
It is the alienation of a friend, your connection with whom too 
often led you into the snares of vice, and kept you there. It is 
the loss of property, it is a disease, an uneasiness either domestic 
or from without; it is a state of suffering, when every thing, but 
God, becomes bitter to a man, when he finds no consolation but 
within himself; and when, disgusied with the vanity and vexa- 
tion of human affairs, he begins to taste the sweetness of things 
heavenly. Bretonneau. 

Page 120. 
Between good men and God there subsists a friendship, under 
the mediation of virtue ; a friendship do I say ? It is more : It is 
an intimate union and resemblance. Seneca. 

Page 121. 


In this part of literature alone, even what I do not understand, 
I yet revere. Erasmus. 

Page 130. 
God causes to flow into the soul an unction which I cannot des» 
cribe, but which fills, or satisfies it completely. Breton neau. 

Pages US, 144. 

For if the whole of the interposition of God consists in the clear 
proposal of the Gospel, opportunely made, why is omnipotence 
required for it ? Why are those magnificent expressions applied 
by St. Paul to describe the omnipotence which God exerts in us ? 
" The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may 
'* know what is the exceeding greatness of' his poi^er to us ward^ 
** who believe according to the v:orking of his mighty poxver.'* 

Is not this to extenuate the almighty energy of God, and almost 
reduce it to nothing? Turret in. 

Page 148. 
Immediate Grace, as the doctrine is taught by the orthodox, 
has nothing in common with enthusiasm, but differs from it in 
various respects. 

332 fRAi^sLArions. 

1. Enthusiasm seeks new revelations extrinsic to the written 
word ; but immediate Grace seeks none that are weiu, because it 
always accompanies the word, and aims at nothing more than to 
impress the word more forcibly on the mind. 

2. According to the tenets of enthusiasm, objects which are im- 
pressed on the mind come not from any thing external, but are 
suggested within by the Spirit and by secret inspiration. But 
here (in the case of immediate Grace), the object is always sup- 
posed to come from something external, and indeed to be sought 
from the written word. 

3. Enthusiasm is caused by sudden emotions, which precede all 
reasoning of discourse, and sometimes exclude them entirely. But 
the operation of the Spirit does not exclude, but takes with it, 
reasoning and the ready consent of the will. 

Lastly, not to pursue any farther distinctions, enthusiasm does 
not produce a change in the hearty but affects the understanding, 
leaving the will unaltered; whence it happens that enthusiasm 
may exist in wicked men, as it appears to have done in the in- 
stance of Balaam and others ; but the operation of Grace necessa- 
rily produces a change in the heart and a love of holiness. 

Turret IN, 

Page 165, 
But VULGAR as these things are, if men in high stations gave 
ail example of them, as far as their stations admit, in their lives 
and conversations ; if the clergy inculcated them in their sermons ; 
if schoolmasters instilled them into the minds of their boys, in 
preference to those highly learned matters, with which 
they make such a parade; — then Christendom would not be dis- 
turbed by WARS almost without an interval of cessation; — then 
men would not every where be hurried on with the mad desire of 
heaping up riches without regard to right or wrong ; — ^then all 
things, both sacred and profane, would not be every where in- 
volved in strife and confusion : — in a word, then we should be dis- 
tinguished in something more essential than the mere name of 
Christians, and the ceremonies of the church, from those who 
o|>enly and honestly avow themselves not to be professors of 
Christian Philosophy. Erasmus* 

Page 169. 
I am of opinion that the genuine Thilosophy of Christ cannot be 
derived from any source so successfully, as from the books of the 


Gospel and the Epistles of the Apostles, in which, if a man phi- 
losophises with a pious spirity praying rather than arguing, 
he will find that there is nothing conducive to the happiness of 
man and the performance of amy duty of human life, which is 
not, in some of these writings, laid down, discussed, and deter- 
mined in a complete and satisfactory manner. Erasmus. 

Page 171. 

Our religion knows not to accept the persons of men; neither 
does it regard the external condition, but the internal disposition. 
It pronounces man a lord or a slave according to his morals. The 
only liberty in the sight of God is, not to be the servant of sin. 
The highest nobility before him is, to become illustrious for virtue. 

Hieronymus ad Celantiam, Ep. 14. 

Nobility is the preservation of the image of God, a resemblance 
of the great model of all excellence, both v/hich are eifected by 
reason and virtue. Greg. Naz. in Orat. 11. 

When I speak of nobility, I mean not that which the vulgar 
herd deem such. Far from it. I mean that which piety and good 
morals characterize ; and a return to the first good, to the original 
state, from which human nature has fallen. Idem, in Orat, 23. 

Page 178. 

Give me a man who is choleric, abusive in his language, head- 
strong, and unruly ; with a very few words, (the words of God,) 
I will render him as gentle as a lamb. Give me a greedy, miserly, 
close-fisted man; and I will presently return him to you a gene- 
rous creature freely bestowing his money by handfuls. Giva me 
a cruel blood-thirsty wretch ; instantly his ferocity shall be trans- 
formed to a truly mild and merciful disposition. Give me an 
unjust man, a foolish man, a sinful man ; and on a sudden, he 
shall become honest, wise, and virtuous. In one laver (the 
iaver of regeneration) all his wickedness shall be washed away. 
So great is the efficacy of the divine (or Christian) Philosophy ; 
that when once admitted into the human heart, it expels folly, 
the parent of all vice ; and in accomplishing this great end, there 
is no occasion for any expence, no absolute need of books or deep 
and long study or meditation. The benefit is conferred gratui- 
tously, easily, expeditiously; provided that the ears and the heart 
thirst after the wisdom (from above). Did any, or could any, of 
the heathen philosophers accomplish such important purposes as 
these ? ]Lact. Inst. Lib, ii. C. 26. 

334 rRANSLAriOlfS. 

Page 184. 

The Spirit of God is delicate, i. e. easily disgusted with moral 
impurity. Tertull. 

Pages 227, 228. 

• They know not what they would have, but are continually seek- 
ing CHANGE OF PLACE, in the hope of laying down the burden 
of time. Tired of home, one man leaves his noble mansion, as 
often as he can, and then returns to it all on a sudden ; just as 
miserable \ abroad as at home. Another drives his horses full 
speed to his country-house, dashing along as if he had heard the 
house was on fire, and was hastening to extinguish the flames. 
He no sooner sets his foot within the doors, than he begins to 
yawn or falls fast asleep ; striving to forget himself in slumbers ; 
— or else he turns the horses' heads and hurries post haste up to 
town again. Thus every one tries to run away from himself; 
but when he cannot escape, he reluctantly bears the unavoidable 
evil, and pines, a self-tormentor, in unwilling solicitude. 


Page 253. 
The human mind is perfected not so much by learning divine 
things, as by passively receiving the impressions of Divinity. 

Men are deceived on this account, because they either adopt 
religion to the neglect of philosophy ; or study philosophy alone, 
to the neglect of religion ; whereas the one without the other can- 
not be what it strictly ought to be. 

Lactantius de falsa Sapient, lib. 3. 

Pages 255, 256. 
Our revealed religion is not, and indeed could not be any thing 
else but the law of nature advanced to perfection. 

Discours sur le TbeismCt par M. f/e Voltaire. 
But now, those topics which are asserted to be peculiar to Phi- 
losophy, all of us C Rhetoricians as well as Philosophers J treat of 
indiscriminately ; for who, even the worst of men, hesitates to 
prate about the just, the equitable, and the good ? 

Quint. Proocmium. 

Page 258. 
From the time of St. Austin, scarcely any word has been in 
more frequent use than the w^ord Grace, when the subject of 

rRANSLAriONS, o35 

discourse is a man's return to a sounder mind, and the power to 
which that return is to be ascribed. But when the meaning of 
that word is asked of them who use it, they can give no clear and 
definitive answer. Hence it happened that in France a Jesuit of a 
facetious turn jocosely said, " That this divine Grace which made 
** such a noise in the schools, and produced such wonderful effects 
•' on the minds of men; this Grace, at once so efficacious and de- 
" lighrful, which triumphs over the hardness of the human heart, 
*^ without destroying free will, was after all nothing more than 
** what the French express by the phrase, ye ne scat quoi^ 

Clerici, Ars Grit. p. 2. s. 1. c. 8. 

Page 274. 
The accurate and certain knowledge of actual experience^ sur- 
passes all that can be taught by the persuasive powers of oratory 
or composition. Diod. Sic. Hist, lib: 1. 

Pages 283, 284. 

No man is a good man without the assistance of God. 

Seneca, Epist. 41. 

God dwelling in the human body. Epist. 31. 

AU mankind hold the opinion, that external advantages, such 
as vineyards, corn fields, olive gardens, abundance of all the vari- 
ous fruits of the earth, lastly every thing thut tends to the accom- 
inodation and prosperity of life, is derived from the Gods ; but no 
man ever acknowledged himself indebted to God for his virtue. 
Undoubtedly this judgment is right and reasonable. For we are 
properly commended for our virtue, and we justly glory in our vir- 
tue; which could not be, if it were a gift of God, and not a 
possession derived entirely from ourselves. But different is the 
case when we receive any accession of honour and fortune, or if 
we get any unlooked-for advantage or avoid any imminent evil ; 
for then, as we thank God for it, so we assume no merit or praise 
to ourselves on the occasion. 

Did any man ever return thanks to the Gods that he was a 
good man? No; he returns thanks to the Gods because he is a 
rich man, because he has received some public honour, or because 
he enjoys a £:::te of safety. 

To return fhen to the point I am maintaining. It is the unani- 
mous opinion of mankind, that success or good fortune in the 
world is to be sought of God, but that wisdom is to be derived 
from one's self entirely. Cicero, de Nat. Dear. lib. 3. c. Z^. 


Our country (Rome) as well as Greece has produced many ex- 
traordinary men, not one of whom, I believe, would ever have 
been such, but by the assistance of God. 

Gig. ^e Nat. Deor. lib. 2. 

No man was ever a great man without something of divine in- 
spiration. Cic. 

Is there any man of any country in the world who by the mere 
guidance of Nature could attain to virtue ? Cic. Le^. 

Men stand in need of God as an assistant and co-operator. 

Max. Tyr. Diss. 22. 

Page 323. 


Songs dictated or inspired by the Holy Spirit. E ph. v. 19. 

Page 327. 

O blindness of our earth-in crusted minds ? 
In what a midnight shade, what sombrous clouds 
Of error are our souls immersed, when thou, 
O Sun supreme ! no longer deign'st to shine. 

Why of the little knowledge ye attain 
Vaunt ye yourselves, poor mortals as ye are, 
For that within us which thus thinks and sees, 
Not to ourselves we owe : it comes from Heaven. 

Pastor Fido, Act v. Sc. 6, 


iVo. 48, Chtrry-Streeu 




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